Simple Techniques for Energy Saving at Home

Whenever it comes to combating air pollution and global warming, action at the state and federal levels is unquestionably critical for achieving real change. Smaller actions that you can take every day in your own home are also important. Those certain simple habits, simple home improvements, and wise purchasing decisions can add up to significant energy reductions over time. Skeptical? Give them a shot. Allow your utility bill to speak for itself.

1. Shop more wisely

Photo: American Home Shield

Numerous stainless appliances today use a fraction of those from 20 years ago. When shopping, look for items that have the Energy Star label. They typically consume 10 to 50% less electricity than some other new models. Purchaser rebates on Energy Star-rated models are offered by certain electricity companies and even state governments.

2. Use no more energy than necessary

Run the dishwasher only when it is full, set your machine to the suitable water level, and wash clothes in cold water. Set your refrigerator to 28 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer to 0 to 5, and make sure both are tightly sealed. The clothes dryer is one of the most energy-intensive appliances in the home, frequently using as much as a new refrigerator, dishwasher, and clothes washer combined. When possible, air-dry your clothes, and if you must use a washing machine, make sure to clean the lint filter after each use.

3. Turn everything off

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This does not just mean turning off the lights once you leave a room. You must also turn off your computer, video game consoles, television, cable boxes, and digital video recorders when not in use—or disconnect them totally and utterly if they brighten up or use energy even when turned off. Tablets, Cell phones, and other battery-powered device chargers use small amounts of energy even when not charging. Connect objects you use frequently to a power cord so you can easily turn them all off at once.

4. Set the thermostat

Your ability to save energy is largely contingent on the settings you choose, even if you purchase the most energy-efficient air conditioner, heater, or water heater available. If you own your house, consider installing a programmable thermostat. They cost $100 or less and can reduce energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent — saving $180 a year—by regulating the temperature throughout the day.

Additionally, check the temperature settings on your electric or gas water heater. It works harder than necessary—and costs you more money—to ensure that hot water is constantly available for you if it is set higher than you actually need. Your setting is too high if the hot water from your tap almost burns your hand.

5. Take an electric reading

Photo: PCMag

An energy monitor meter, such as a Kill A Watt Meter, attempts to measure how much energy each device in your home consumes when turned on and off. These are typically less than $30 at home improvement retailers and can provide numerous aha moments. For instance, you could demonstrate that your “turned off” DVR set-top box from your cable or satellite provider is drawing approximately 20 watts even when you are not watching or capturing a show.

6. Recycling outdated electronics

When you purchase new, energy-efficient electronics and appliances, it’s crucial to properly dispose of the old ones. Give older family members working electronics like phones, computers, and tablets, or go online for buy-back schemes. Retailers like Best Buy and Staples have comprehensive in-store recycling programs for functional and nonworking gadgets; regardless of where you purchased them, they will accept most electronics and dispose of them correctly for free.

7. Fill in the gaps

Photo: Mr. Handyman

When all the gaps around windows and doors in an average American house are added together, you get an equal amount of a 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the wall. Seal air leaks with caulk and weatherstrip, and use window putty to fill gaps around loose window panes. And also, attach “sweeps” or “shoes” to the bottoms of doors to prevent heated or cooled air from escaping. Caulking may be an effective way to stop drafts but it is also advisable to replace old windows with energy-efficient windows.

8. Purchase smarter bulbs

Photo: CNet

At home improvement stores, an LED light bulb can cost as little as $5 and save more than $100 over its lifetime. LEDs use up to 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs to produce the same amount of light, and those come in a variety of colors, shapes, and intensities. They can also work with dimmers and reach full light output instantly. Check to see if your utility offers a reimbursement for energy-efficient bulbs, which would reduce their cost even more.)

9. Pick renewable energy sources

Choose a sustainable energy source, such as solar, wind, low-impact hydroelectric, or geothermal, if you are able to select your own energy provider. In some states, you can support renewable energy by adding a small surcharge to your electric account rather than selecting a particular electricity provider. Find out your possibilities by asking your electrical provider.

Source: NRDC

8 Strategies to Cut Winter Energy Costs

The weather outside is terrible. And so is your utility bill. This spring and summer bill shock, however, can be avoided by controlling your energy usage and working to make a few adjustments to your home. We discussed energy conservation in a previous post, and several of the same rules apply to the cold winter months.

Here are 8 money-saving ideas to think about as you snuggle up for the winter:

1. Disconnect appliances

Photo: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Although the rule applies all year, it is especially important to unplug appliances that are not in use during the winter. When computers or electronics are plugged into an outlet, they generate phantom energy. Thus, remove your plugged-in phone from the wall, buy a few power strips, and save electricity!

2. Utilize heat only when needed

Some other way to reduce your energy usage is to heat only when necessary. According to the United States Department of Energy, lowering your thermostat by 7-10 degrees could save you up to 10% per year.

Alter your thermostat throughout the day when you are at work or sleeping. Installing a smart thermostat in your home that you can control with your mobile phone is indeed a remedy. Users can use automation or computer-controlled features to keep the house warm while they are away. This will additionally help you better comprehend and maintain your home’s energy.

If you do not utilize a room often, do not heat it. Why not save money if your guest room or basement is empty during the winter?

3. Maintain airflow

Once you are awake and at home, you must check that your heater is working properly. Check that no furniture or appliances are blocking any vents.

Warm air rises, so set your fans to reverse to return that sneaky warm air to you and your family.

4. Eliminate air leaks

Air leakage is a major cause of high energy bills. Here are some suggestions for reducing leakage:

  • a. Caulk the windows to ensure that no warm air escapes through them.
  • b. Install weather stripping and door sweeps to keep out the cold air.
  • c. Inspect for leaks in the attic and air ducts to reduce energy waste.
  • d. At last, you may want to consider getting an energy audit to determine which areas are inefficient.

5. Dress warmly and use blankets to stay warm

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Warming your body is far more cost-effective than heating your home. Reduce the temperature on the thermostat and compensate by wearing comfortable sweaters and warm clothes around the house. Keep warm at night with a warm blanket, comforter, or duvet.

If you are worried about keeping your pets warm, think about getting them a doggie sweater. Sweatshirts are not suitable for cats. Cats not only dislike clothing, but they also appear to have a natural ability to find the warmest spot in the house.

6. Select LED Lighting for home

Photo: Wall Street Journal

LED lighting is the most energy-efficient option available today. They use 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last 25 times as long. A standard wall socket can handle 25 strings of holiday LED lights connected end to end.

7. Allow the sun to shine during the day, and draw shades at night

Photo: Healthline

The sun is a fantastic source of free heat, which is why the family cat prefers to nap in sunbeams. By leaving your curtains and blinds open during the day, you are utilizing the greenhouse effect and allowing the sun to naturally heat your home.

Sadly, because windows are not as well insulated as your walls, they can also be a source of heat loss. When the sun goes down, close your curtains and blinds to avoid cold chills from entering your home. To improve the energy efficiency of your windows, consider purchasing insulated curtains.

8. Create a plan

Choosing the appropriate energy plan for your house will give you confidence in the fact that your monthly payment will not surprise you. Many businesses offer a flat rate for services, ensuring consistent costing throughout the season.

If you follow these simple energy-saving tips, you can enjoy an energy-efficient and stress-free winter without being concerned about high electric bills.