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There are many ways to reduce your household’s energy use, ranging from simple adjustments to more complex home improvements.
Whether you are trying to reduce your electric bill or just being more mindful of the energy you waste, we’ve put together a list of 10 easy ways to save energy at home:
1. CHANGE THE LIGHTBULBS
Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Replace your traditional light bulbs with LED light bulbs. Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy efficient alternatives. LED lights use less electricity and last longer than traditional bulbs. Next time your light bulb goes out, replace it with an LED one.
2. USE SMART POWER STRIPS
When electronics are plugged in but turned off, they still consume electricity. This tends to be a major source of energy waste in most households. Smart or advanced power strips eliminate this problem by turning off the power of electronics when they are not in use. They can be programed to turn off at a specific time, during a period of inactivity, through remote switches, or based on the status of the device that’s plugged in.
3. UNPLUG UNUSED ELECTRONICS
If you don’t have a smart power strip, don’t worry! Simply unplug the electronics that you are not using and only turn on your computer, tablet, printer, or other electronics when you need them. Also, don’t leave your cellphone or laptop plugged in overnight. These devices only take a couple of hours to charge and over charging them can cause their batteries to burn out.
4. INSTALL A SMART THERMOSTAT
Install a smart thermostat that can be set to automatically adjust your home’s temperature according to your schedule. You can set it to automatically turn on or off at designated times. According to ENERGY STAR, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 per year! NEST is a great one and you can easily purchase it at Amazon.com.
5. SWITCH TO ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
Appliances are also responsible for your total household energy use. When purchasing an energy efficient appliance, you should look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy than standard non-energy efficient models. You should also pay attention to two numbers: the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost of the appliance. Although energy efficient appliances usually have higher purchase prices, their operating costs are much lower than conventional models.
6. SEAL LEAKS
Sealing air leaks around your home is a great way to reduce your cooling (or heating) expenses. The most common sources of air leaks in your home are the cracks or openings found on vents, windows, and doors. To seal air leaks between stationary objects, such as the wall and window frame, you can apply caulk. For cracks found between moving objects, such as windows and doors, you can apply weather stripping. Weather stripping and caulking are simple air sealing techniques that typically help you save energy and cut costs. These can be purchased at your local hardware store or ordered online.
7. LET THE LIGHT SHINE THROUGH
Use windows efficiently. During daylight hours, turn off artificial lights and use the sunlight coming in from the window to brighten your home. On warmer months, lower the shades to help keep your home’s temperature cool and give your AC a break. Similarly, open the shades during cooler months to let the sun warm your home. Installing window treatments that allow you to use natural light while reducing heat loss is also a huge plus!
8. BECOME A FAN OF THE FAN
Turn on fans & turn off your AC! On hot days, using your ceiling fan and increasing the thermostat by just two degrees can decrease air conditioning costs by up to 14% according to ENERGY STAR.
9. REDUCE YOUR WATER HEATING
Change from a conventional storage water heater to an energy efficient water heater to reduce energy consumption. With conventional water heaters, energy is consumed even when no hot water is being used. New energy-efficient water heaters reduce the standby heat loss. If buying a new water heater is not an option, there are other ways of reducing your water heating expenses: you can use less hot water, turn down the thermostat’s temperature on your water heater, or insulate your water heater.
10. ADJUST YOUR DAY-TO-DAY BEHAVIORS
Energy conservation can be as easy as turning off lights or unplugging electronics when you don’t need them. You just need to create an awareness and habits. You can also use appliances less by performing household tasks manually, such as hang-drying your clothes or washing dishes by hand. Turning down the heat on your thermostat in the winter and using your air conditioner less in the summer are simple behavior adjustments that have the highest potential for saving energy. Small changes from many people can make a huge difference.
Trying out these easy ways to save energy at home will benefit both your wallet and the environment.