Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Basic Household Energy Tips To Save You Big

If you consider the amount of energy that most consumers are wasting to begin with, it’s simple to understand how easily they could be saving. Adopting a few smart habits around the house will lower energy costs immediately and add up to significant annual savings. If you’re tired of spending too much on your utility bills, take note of the following ways you can begin saving right away.

1. Lights. Leaving the lights on unnecessarily really runs up consumer’s bills; a single 100-watt bulb burns over $125 every year! Replace all the bulbs in your home with cost-effective, energy-efficient CFLs and get in the habit of only using lights when you are actually using them. The savings will be reflected in your electric bill the very first month!

2. Dishwasher. Eliminating the “pre-wash” cycle on the dishwasher will save you nearly $100 every year; simply scrape food off into the trash before loading. Also, use the economy settings and never run the machine unless it’s completely full.

3. Washer and dryer. Always set your washer’s water level to match the particular load, and use cold to rinse. Keep the lint trap in the dryer clean for better performance and lower costs, and use the energy efficiency settings on both machines to maximize your savings. If possible, hang up a clothes line in summer months and avoid using the dryer altogether.

4. Air conditioner. Cleaning the unit and changing filters monthly can improve efficiency and lower cost. Installing ceiling fans will minimize the drain on your A/C and save you around $500 a year, and they also add nice ambiance to any room. Remember to raise the temperature setting before leaving for the day.

5. Home heater. Lowering the thermostat to 68 degrees or less in colder months will drastically reduce energy consumption and the bill you receive for it; setting the fan to “auto” will also help maintain the temperature by spreading the warmth around. Get cozy in a sweatshirt or sweater, and avoid heating the house when nobody is in it if possible.

6. Water heater. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends having your water heater set at 120 degrees. Consider that for every 10 degrees you reduce the temperature, you save around five dollars. Your water will still be comfortable for taking showers and baths, and you will reduce the chances of a child (or adult) accidentally getting burned with very hot water.

7. Doors and windows. Sealing cracks around doors and windows is an inexpensive job nearly anyone can pull off; simply walk around the house feeling for any drafts, then use weather stripping or caulk to plug them up. This will keep the inside temperatures stable and prevent outdoor air from off-setting your heating or air conditioning efforts.

Eliminating waste will set you up for immediate savings; learning to be savvy with energy use will lower your bills permanently and contribute to a cleaner environment. Take a look at every room in your home and think about your habits with energy use and you will discover many ways to save big.