5 Ways to Conserve Energy at Home
If your energy bills are stressing you out, there’s good news. There are a number of simple things you can do that can reduce your electricity bills and help the environment at the same time. Read on for the top five ways you can conserve energy at home.
Your parents were right – you should turn off the lights whenever you leave the room. This simple habit can make a big difference in your energy bill. Also – did you know that many appliances still use energy even when they are off? For that reason, unplug devices when not in use (or use a power strip and turn it off). Shut your computer down completely when not in use instead of just letting it “sleep.”
Cool it with the Hot Water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so limit shower time, consider hand washing dishes and use cold water in your washing machine (most detergents these days will work just fine in cold water). Also, when you load up your dishwasher or washing machine, make sure you are running a full load. This will prevent you from wasting water and electricity. Finally, be sure that your appliances are newer, energy-efficient models.
Insulate and Seal
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners can save an average of 11% on total energy costs by sealing up any air leaks in their homes and properly insulating attics, crawl spaces, and basements. Check your house for drafts, leaks, or under-insulated areas, or hire a professional to do a home energy assessment to help you identify areas you need to address.
Use a Smart Thermostat
With today’s smart thermostats, you can program your HVAC to cool or heat your house less when you are away or are asleep. For example, if you are at work for 9 hours a day and sleeping for 7, that’s a significant amount of time when you can set your thermostat down or up a few degrees. That can make a difference in your energy bills. Also, using separate thermostats for different rooms/zones of your house can also cut costs because you can reduce the amount of heating/cooling you use in infrequently used rooms (such as a guest room).
Invest in a New, Energy Efficient HVAC System
Technology in the HVAC industry has advanced a great deal in recent years. Today’s models are high-efficiency, customizable, and use adaptive technology to ensure your comfort while reducing your energy bills. Some systems control temperature and humidity, airflow, and air quality in your home, and you can manage some newer models directly from your smartphone. However, if your energy bills are high, or your AC is noisy or constantly needs adjustment, you may want to look at a new system.
Be sure to keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible with routine maintenance. And if you have an older HVAC system and are tired of your monthly energy bills going through the roof, it may be time to consider a new energy-efficient HVAC system.