Low cost tips to save money on home energy
By NOPEC on December 11, 2018
Want to know how to save energy at home and put more money back in your wallet? First, you need to look at the places around your house that are using up the most electricity, such as your laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, and TV room. On a budget? Saving money on home energy doesn't have to burn a hole in your wallet. In fact, reducing your energy consumption can help you save money when it's time to pay your utility bills.
Heating and cooling
Whether it’s the dead of winter or the dog days of summer, keeping an eye on the thermostat will help cut costs. Because most of us sleep better when the house is a bit cooler than we prefer when we’re awake, savvy homeowners can save money by turning the thermostat down at night.
It’s cooler outside at night in the summer anyways, so it will take a lot less energy to cool the house. Also consider switching to linen sheets during the summer months for more breathability.
In the winter, snuggle up with flannel sheets and throw some extra blankets on your bed. Help heat your home with help from the sun by leaving your window blinds open during the day and closing them at night to help keep the heat in. You can also cover bare floors with rugs to help retain heat, especially if your home has little-to-no floor insulation.
A dirty furnace or A/C filter will slow down air flow, requiring more energy to keep your home warm and cool. Furthermore, you are putting you and your family at risk with dangerous allergens and are potentially ruining your heating and cooling system.
You should clean or change your filters on a regular basis. The average suburban homeowner should change the air filter every 90 days. If you have pets, you should change the filter more frequently, at 20-60 day intervals. If you live by yourself, you can get away with changing your air filter every six to 12 months.
There are several ways you can save money in the laundry room. First, make sure you are only washing full loads of laundry. You could save up to $30 a year just by doing one less load of laundry a week.
Wash your clothes using cold water, too. Heating your electric washing machine is one of the biggest wastes of electricity in your home. Also, hot water is damaging to clothes and will shrink and wear them out quicker. The water also doesn't get hot enough to kill germs, so you're better off letting your dryer work its magic.
When you dry your next load of laundry, throw a dry towel in with it. A dry towel will help soak up any excess water your washing machine may have left in your clothes, which will help reduce dry time. Even if you have a gas dryer, you can still save money on electricity. The less your dryer is running, the more you'll save.
Turn off the “heat dry” setting on your electric dishwasher. All this setting does is steam your dishes dry, which can add up over the course of the year. Why pay to heat air when your dishes can dry on their own for free?
Consider running your dishwasher at night and unloading it the following morning. Or, run your dishwasher in the morning before you leave for work, so your dishes will be dry by the time you come home for dinner. In a time pinch? You can always hand dry your dishes with a towel.
Set your refrigerator at 40 degrees. While many recommend keeping your refrigerator between 32-38 degrees, keeping it that cold can actually freeze some of the food inside. Keeping the temperature in your refrigerator too low will cause it to run less efficiently and will cost you money.
Also, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors shut. Ever catch yourself staring at the refrigerator, deciding what you want to eat? Or better yet, debating whether you should really eat that leftover pie in the fridge? (By the way, the answer is always yes!) Keeping the door open will allow the cold air to escape, making your refrigerator and freezer work harder to maintain the proper temperature.
There are several ways you can save water in your home, mostly by being mindful of how much water you’re using. Check your water pipes, toilets, and faucets for leaks and repair any you find. Additionally, to save water, turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving.
Consider installing water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators. The shower heads run anywhere from $10-$20, while the faucet aerators typically cost between $15-$35.
Appliances and Electronics
Unplug appliances and electronics when they’re not in use. Americans waste about $50 a year on electrical devices that are plugged in and not being used. Want to know which device are using up the most electricity? A Kill A Watt Meter costs about $15-$25 (much cheaper than an in-home energy monitor) and will measure the energy used by devices when you plug them into the meter.
As a general rule of thumb, though, unplug battery chargers for cell phones, tablets, and laptops. Even when they’re not actively charging, they’re still using energy. The same goes for printers, DVD players, TVs, and video game consoles.
Turning the lights off when you leave a room might sound obvious, yet so many of us are guilty of leaving them on, which can run up an electric bill.
Speaking of lights, switching to LED bulbs can save you money. Sure, an LED light might cost a little more money upfront, but because they use a fraction of the energy as incandescent bulbs, you’ll end up saving more money down the road.
Most LEDs can last an average of 25,000 hours, while incandescent bulbs last a mere 750 hours. That’s more than 33 incandescent bulbs you’d have to purchase, as opposed to just one LED. In addition to that, there’s the cost of electricity. It takes $240 to light an incandescent bulb for 25,000 hours as opposed to $40 for an LED. A switch to LED can potentially save you thousands over the span of just a decade.
If your next utility bill shows more energy usage than normal, try running through this list before calling your energy provider. Putting a few of these tips into practice will help lower your home energy costs enough to make you happier with your monthly bill. Want more ways to save money? Check out the NOPEC tip house for more home energy-saving tips.
Tags: NOPEC, energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Tips, Electric, Bill
Categories: Energy Efficiency