Want to keep energy costs down? Small changes to your power consumption can significantly reduce your utility bill. From opening curtains to lowering the thermostat on your water heater, here are seven things you can do to be more energy-efficient at home.
The average household in the United States spends up to $1,500 on heating during the winter season alone. Reduce the use of your indoor heating system by letting sunlight naturally heat your home. During the day, open your curtains to let the sunshine in. At night, thick curtains can act as a do-it-yourself insulator, preventing heat from escaping.
By installing a thermostat, you can program your heating and cooling systems to turn off or adjust settings at certain times of the day. If you’re away from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., a programmable thermostat can automatically turn off your HVAC systems, letting you save up to 15% on electricity bills every year.
Incandescent lights are common in older homes. They consume up to 95% more energy compared to modern, energy-efficient alternatives like light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). While newer lightbulbs don’t come cheap, they have longer lifetimes and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Household appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and dryers are responsible for nearly 13% of your energy consumption. When shopping for new appliances, be on the lookout for the Energy Star label which indicates that the appliance will automatically reduce its energy consumption when on standby. Energy Star certified refrigerators consume 9% less energy than models made before 1992.
Not only does washing your clothes with warm water cause your clothes to fade and shrink, but it also consumes up to 90% more energy. Today’s washers are designed to efficiently clean clothes with cold water especially when you use them with water-formulated laundry detergents. You could be saving up to $60 just by making this simple change!
An HVAC, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit, is responsible for up to 46% of the average American household’s energy use. For homes in colder regions, it is recommended to buy Energy Star HVACs that are 16% more efficient than older units. But don’t stop there! Your HVAC requires regular maintenance to ensure that it is performing at peak efficiency.
Solar panels, or photovoltaic (PV) systems, aren’t cheap, but an increasing number of households are installing them to generate renewable energy. Solar panels use fewer fossil fuels, reduce costs, and allow you to qualify for federal tax incentives. The solar rebate covers the cost of installing your PV system as long as it doesn’t go beyond 100kW in size.
By conserving energy, you can reduce your electricity bill, promote a greener environment, set a positive example for the younger generation, and much more. As you can see, it doesn’t take a huge leap to become more energy conscious. You can start by taking small but significant steps like the ones mentioned above.