We’ve all been there. We open our electric bill and are astounded at how much energy we’ve used and how much it’s costing us. It may not seem like switching to energy saving light bulbs or unplugging your electronics when they aren’t in use will make a difference but little changes can add up. When you lessen the consumption of energy, you’re not only saving money, you’re helping the environment. Saving energy means less fossil fuels, such as natural gas, and oil, will be in demand. Burning fossil fuels contributes directly to pollution, and global warming. The less energy we use, the better off the environment will be. Take a look at these simple and effective ways to save energy.
Cold Weather Tips for Saving Energy
When Winter strikes, you want nothing more than to keep your house warm. Each time you turn the thermostat up, your bill and energy consumption rises as well.
- Check windows, doors, and vents for leaks. Resolving leaks can save you up to 10% on your heating costs. Using duct tape is a very simple, and cost effective way to take care of leaks for doors and windows.
- If you are going on vacation or away at work, turn the thermostat down a few degrees. Not having the heat running at a high temperature for a few hours or days will definitely save energy. Be sure to not turn it completely off, though. You run the risk of your pipes freezing in extremely cold weather.
- Invest in some heavier drapes or curtains. Keep them open during the day to allow the sun to heat up your home and close them at night to lock in heat.
- Put on more than one layer of clothing. By wearing a couple of layers, you retain more body heat.
- If you’re throwing a party or having company over at your home, turn the thermostat down. The additional body heat will add to the room.
- For hardwood and tile floors, invest in thick rugs to keep your feet warm and to hold in heat.
- If you’ve been cooking, leave your oven door cracked to let the heat escape to add warmth to your home. Use caution with children and pets in the home.
Warm Weather Tips for Saving Energy
Just like you want to keep your home warm in the Winter, keeping your home cool during warm weather is crucial for you and your family’s comfort.
- If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on. Having a ceiling fan running along with the air conditioner will spread the cool air around the room.
- Keep your thermostat set between 75 and 78 degrees. If it’s set any lower than that, your energy use is sure to be higher, as will your bill.
- Use the drapes and curtains to your advantage again. Keep them shut during the hottest part of the day to shut out heat and open them at night to cool your home.
- Turn you lights off when you’re not using them. Not only will it save energy, it’ll reduce the heat that emits from them.
- Make sure air ducts and fans are clear from any blockages. Dust them regularly and check that no furniture or other obstacles are in the way of them being able to freely distribute air.
- Plant trees. Having trees around your house will provide shade from the sun to keep your home cooler.
General Home Tips for Saving Energy
Your home is where the majority of your energy consumption happens. From cooking and cleaning to taking a shower, these simple daily tasks contribute in a big way.
- Switch to energy saving light bulbs. They typically last longer and can save up to 80% less energy than regular light bulbs. These bulbs aren’t anymore costly than standard bulbs but you can always contact your local energy provider to see if you can get free or discounted light bulbs.
- Unplug any electronics, even when they are turned off. This includes televisions, lamps, computers, and cell phone chargers that you may leave plugged in constantly. Even though they pull energy very slowly, every little bit adds up.
- When washing your clothes, use cold or warm water. Using hot water can raise your bill up to $50 a year.
- After washing clothes, partially dry them in the dryer or dry clothes outside on a clothing line when it’s possible.
- Get a laptop. Desktop computers use more electricity than laptops. Having your laptop wherever you go will give you the chance to work remotely and make some money from basic things like content writing or editing non-native speaker’s copy.
- If you can, use a microwave instead of a conventional oven. Microwaves use about half of the electricity as a standard oven.
- Even better than a microwave, use crock pots and slow cookers. They use about 75% less energy than stove tops or ovens.
- Keep your refrigerator door shut and make sure the seal is tight. The refrigerator has to pull more energy to keep cool if there are leaks in the seal.
- Rinse dishes with cold water before loading them into the dishwasher. By doing this, you can bypass the dishwasher’s pre-rinse cycle to save water and energy.
- Always run full loads when washing/drying clothes, or using the dishwasher. Full loads use no more energy than small loads.
- Replace old appliances with new, energy efficient ones. It’s worth it to invest in these products.
- Install low-flow shower heads. They cost no more than $20 each and will save gallons of hot water a year. If you can afford it, install low-flow toilets as well.
- Fix leaky water faucets and pipes. Each extra drop of water per second can add up to over 150 gallons a week.
- Dust light bulbs and fixtures. Up to 50% of the light can be blocked by a layer of dust.
How to Save Energy on Daily Commutes or Traveling
We’ve all got places to go, and people to see. If we have to drive, let’s take steps to conserve as much energy as we can.
- Do not run your vehicle if it is not necessary. Running your car when you aren’t driving causes more pollution and wastes fuel.
- Park in the shade to keep your car cool during warm weather to reduce air conditioner use.
- Open the windows or keep them shut instead of using the air conditioner or heating system.
- When purchasing a new car, choose one with good mileage. A car that gets 25 miles per gallon burns fuel faster than a car that gets 40 miles per gallon.
- Make sure tires are properly inflated to ensure you are getting the best mileage.
- If at all possible, carpool, walk, bike, or use public transit to save fuel.
Do you use any of the energy tips mentioned? If not, try some of these tips for saving energy and see for yourself how much money you can save. If so, educate your friends and family on the ways to save energy, save money, and help save the environment. You might have other high-tech and easy ways to conserve and save energy that you’d like to share with us, the comment section below is there for you to share them with us.