Whether you want to lower your energy bills, make your home greener or do both, there are many ways you can conserve energy at home. Of course, updating to more energy efficient appliances is an excellent way to do this, but there are plenty of options for those who lack the budget to upgrade all of their appliances at once. Here are several simple strategies you can employ to reduce your home’s energy consumption.
To minimize your heating expenses, change the filter in your furnace monthly and have it serviced and cleaned every year by a professional. Install a programmable thermostat so your heating system will maintain a lower temperature while you are at work or at night when you’re sleeping under a heavy blanket. Vacuum heating vents regularly to keep them clean and make sure you’re not blocking them with furniture or drapes. During the day, open the blinds on windows that face the sun to warm the space. Warm hardwood and tile floors with area rugs and dress for the weather. If it’s cold outside, wear a sweater inside rather than turning the heat higher than necessary.
Choose an air conditioning unit that is rated to cool the size space you have. Raise the thermostat when you leave the house or install a programmable thermostat that can regulate your temperature automatically so you need not remember to do so manually. Turn off the lights when you’re not using them and close curtains in sun-facing windows during the day. Hose off your central air outdoor compressor once a year (after cutting the power to it) and make sure plants aren’t growing closer than one foot away from the unit.
Reduce your energy in the laundry room by washing only full loads. Consider hanging your laundry outside to dry and clean your dryer’s lint trap every time you use it. When washing, use warm water rather than hot whenever you can and always rinse clothes in cold water. Do multiple loads of laundry on the same day so your dryer has less time to cool down between loads.
If it’s legal to do so in your area, start harvesting rainwater. Once collected, rainwater can be used to irrigate the lawn and garden or wash outdoor spaces such as decks and patios. With proper treatment, it can also be used inside the home to flush toilets, wash clothing, wash dishes, bathe or even to drink.
To save energy in the kitchen, use microwaves, toasters and small appliances as often more possible since they use 75% less energy than the oven and stove. Cook with pot and pan lids to reduce cooking times, as well. If you have a self-cleaning oven, plan to run it after baking a meal so that it is already hot when the cleaning cycle begins. Vacuum your refrigerator coils periodically to keep the unit running efficiently and don’t overload it. Like the washing machine, the dishwasher should only be run when it is full.
Make sure you fix any leaky pipes and consider replacing your shower head with a low-flow model. These units give you the same water pressure but use less water to do it. Turn your water heater temperature back to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) and take showers rather than baths to save water.If you really want to save electricity at home and reduce your carbon footprint, these are just a few of the ways you can do so. None of these energy saving tips are difficult to do but they can make a big difference in your energy usage, especially if you implement them all. If that seems overwhelming, start small and just pick a few energy-saving strategies you think you and your family can live with. You’ll want to implement more techniques as your energy bill decreases.