Saving money and helping the environment can go hand-in-hand! With Earth Day around the corner (April 22), these easy-to-implement home energy-saving tips will not only reduce your impact on the environment, but help reduce costs in your home.
Combat summer’s heat by keeping doors, windows, and shades closed during the day. This will keep the temperature of your home manageable. Fans are also a nice alternative to the thermostat to circulate cool air.
If you do end up turning on your thermostat, small increments are the best way to go. Cranking up the thermostat won’t cool your home any faster.
In your kitchen, keep your refrigerator and freezer as stocked as possible as they are most efficient when full. Refrain from opening your oven door often during cooking. This causes heat to escape and wastes energy getting it back to temperature. Additionally, turning off your oven 5 to 10 minutes before the end of cook time will pay dividends. Your food will continue cooking while the oven cools down, but the oven will no longer be using energy.
Your dishwasher and dryer generate heat so try to use them in the evening to keep the house cooler. When possible, try to wash clothes in cold instead of hot water. A large portion of the energy your washer uses is from heating up water.
You’ll want to switch your lightbulbs from incandescent bulbs to LED. LED lights are more energy efficient. Additionally, turn off lights when not in use. Leaving a light on in an unoccupied room is a sure way to rack up electricity bills.
Cracks, gaps and leaks can allow significant air to escape. This causes your furnace/air conditioner to work harder to maintain the temperature of your home. Seal these openings and you will find your unit running more efficiently. Adding insulation to keep the wanted air inside your home can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.
As we touched on in our Tips for a Green Home post, phantom power is the energy used by an appliance simply from being plugged in. A plugged in appliance which is not in use can contribute up to 15% of an energy bill. You can help prevent this by unplugging when you can. Things like phone chargers, lamps and microwaves can easily by unplugged when not in use. For hard to reach outlets, connect severals cords to an accessible power bar to turn off many things in one shot.