Every homeowner should have a plan to conserve energy. Conservation at home does more than help prevent the destruction of our environment: it saves homeowners money. Here are 7 ways you can tackle both large and small energy-sucking issues in your home to save money and decrease your home’s negative impact on the earth.
Program Your Thermostat
Heating is one of the most expensive uses of energy in the home. If you’re going to be gone for the day, set the heat temperature low in the winter and the cool temperature high in the summer. Of course, you want to come home to a cool or cozy house depending on the season.
This is where the programmable thermostat comes in handy. Set your thermostat so that your HVAC system kicks in an hour or so before you come home. In the summer, turn on your ceiling fans and make sure to shut blinds and curtains to keep unnecessary heat out. In the winter, let as much sunlight in as possible to keep the house warm during the day.
Replace Regular Bulbs with LEDs or CFLs
You may hear people complain that LEDs are expensive compared to ordinary incandescent bulbs. However, they are longer lasting, more efficient, and great for decorative purposes. CFLs look a lot like regular incandescent bulbs but are also more efficient. Both of these can fit into standard light fixtures, and both will save you money over time by using less energy and requiring infrequent replacement.
Turn off Lights and Unplug Electronics
Sometimes saving energy is just about good habits implemented into your daily routine. If you can remember to turn off lights that you don’t need and unplug devices when they’re not in use, this could save you more than a hundred dollars every single year.
Even electronic devices that are turned off still use up some energy. Before you picture yourself taking an inconvenient 10 minutes each day to make sure every cord in your house is unplugged, buy some power strips for a one-switch fix for multiple appliances.
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Low-flow fixtures conserve water by using less water per minute than regular plumbing fixtures. Consider replacing your shower heads, sink faucets, and even your toilet. Don’t worry about your water coming out in drips after making this change—the water flow is still equal to that of traditional faucets due to the high pressure technique that the low-flow uses.
Put up Solar Window Screens
If you live in a climate that’s warm or hot most of the year, you may benefit from installing solar screens on your windows. These block out the heat from the sun while still allowing the light through on a beautiful day. You can also replace your windows with low-emissive glass panes, which won’t change their appearance the way solar screens will, but may cost you more money upfront when first purchasing.
Replace Old and Inefficient Appliances
Just because your appliances aren’t top-of-the-line or awarded the “most energy efficient” doesn’t mean you should throw them out. If your appliances are functioning well and are less than 10 or 15 years old, you should hold onto them.
However, replacing an old, clunky, and inefficient dishwasher or furnace may save you money in the long run. Before you go replacing perfectly good appliances, identify the problem areas and replace only the old and inefficient—or you may be spending more money than you’re saving.
Skip the Drying
As mentioned above, heat accounts for nearly half of the average home’s energy usage. Let your clothesline dry in the yard during nice weather. Stop your dishwasher before it goes through the drying cycle and let them drip/air dry on racks and towels. Your energy bill will thank you for it. The effort is well worth the outcome and you’ll be saving money every single day with these few handy energy conserving tips.