We make all sorts of promises to do things differently in the new year.
While much of it involves changing ourselves, sometimes we can resolve to do things that actually don’t require as big of a commitment. Saving energy is one of those things that only requires a small amount of change on your part and can often help you save money in the process. It helps the planet but no one can complain if they cut their energy bills in the process!
Even a savings of a couple of dollars a month adds up over time.
Even if not turned on, devices that are plugged in can actually be causing a “phantom load” which does consume a small amount of electricity. Consider how many devices you have plugged in that you aren’t using. Unplugging them when not in use eliminates the “phantom load” and therefore saves you energy which saves you money.
Turn Down the Thermostat
You can do this manually or with a programmable thermostat, but turning the heat down at night or when you aren’t at home can save you significantly in natural gas usage. Why pay to warm your home when you don’t need it? At night when you are snuggled under blankets you can easily turn down the heat a few degrees and never notice, and when you aren’t at home, you can turn it down even more. If you have a programmable thermostat you can set it to turn the heat up right before you come home so it’s warm when you get there.
Use Fans for Cooling
Supplementing your air conditioning with fans will help save energy because it takes a lot less to run a fan than it does to power a central air conditioning unit. The fans can help keep your home cooler and reduce how often the a/c unit runs by allowing you to raise the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees and still stay cool.
Turn Down the Water Heater
Another way to save on energy costs is by turning down your hot water heater. Whether you have an electric or natural gas heater, using less hot water will use less energy. Hot water is said to be the third most energy consuming thing in your home. If you can tolerate your water being a little less hot, you can save energy.
Use Window Coverings for Temperature Control
Got a south or east facing window that the sunlight streams through every morning in the summer? Close the curtains or blinds before you go to bed to help keep your home cool. The opposite is true too. In winter, leave the curtains open so the morning sun can help warm up your home to allow you to keep the thermostat turned down.
There are so many things you can do to save energy at home. These five tips are easy to implement and don’t require you to make major changes to your home. If you are interested in taking it a step further you can make your own hand soap or make your own laundry detergent right at home. Save even more money!
What do you do to save energy at home?
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