If you’re like most people, you’re tired of paying more each time you receive your energy bills. Just when you think they can’t get any higher, you open the bill and see another unpleasant surprise. The good news is there are some easy ways to reduce electricity consumption and lower your bill not just for one month but permanently. Here are five household energy-saving tips that can save you money.
Household Energy Saving Tip #1: Change Your Light Bulbs
One of the simplest changes you can make towards energy conservation is as simple as switching out your old incandescent bulbs and replacing them with LED bulbs. Even compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use more energy than LED. LED light bulbs last longer and use far less energy to run. They also don’t produce as much heat which can also help keep your cooling costs lower.
LED lighting used to cost tonos more than incandescent. Now, ever, better manufacturing and higher demand have dropped the pricing on these bulbs significantly. We recommend targeting ceiling can lights, bathroom vanity fixtures, and those potentially huge fixtures in your entry and dining rooms. After that, replacing garage lights, lamps, and other fixtures simply put the icing on the proverbial cake.
Try to avoid blue or “super white” bulbs. Those have a color temperature of 7000K or more and work just fine in utility rooms and closets. Look for “Daylight” bulbs for interior spaces where you live, work, and play. These bulbs may also be labeled with a color temperature, like 5000K which represents a color of light closer to that put out by the sun. Anything labeled 2700K or similar will come across as yellow.
Choose a Programmable Thermostat
Because heating and cooling are the largest portions of most people’s energy bills, you can save money just by using something like a Nest Programmable thermostat. If you want something as expensive as the Nest, then pick an Energy Star model because they are pre-programmed with settings designed to maximize your savings. Of all of the household energy saving tips we have, this may save you the most. Most people save around $180 on their annual energy costs just by using one of these programmable thermostats. The best thermostats allow you to set vacation modes and also daytime and nighttime settings for optimal cost savings.
Switch to Energy Star Appliances
The appliances in your home account for nearly one-fifth of the energy you use every month. Refrigerators, washing machines, and clothes dryers are some of the biggest users of electricity. Although upgrading your appliances to Energy Star models may seem expensive right now, you’ll see a dramatic decrease in your energy costs every month. Plus, some utility companies are offering rebates to customers who purchase Energy Star appliances for the home as a way of encouraging energy conservation. See our article on tankless water heaters for a good example of a cost-saving device with rebates.
Add a Water Heater Timer
If it’s time to replace your old water heater, switch to the most energy-efficient model you can find. In terms of household energy-saving tips, this is a big one. If you need to wait a few more years, and you have an electric water heater, pick up an inexpensive water heater timer and install it to your existing unit. The timer automatically shuts off the water heater at times when you won’t need it, such as when you’re at work or when you’re sleeping. Although you won’t save as much as you would with an Energy Star water heater, you can cut your costs a little bit and every little bit counts.
Replace or Insulate Your Windows
Our windows are one of the biggest sources of escaped heating and cooling. Older windows are highly inefficient and don’t do anything to help our homes maintain a stable temperature. By replacing your existing windows with double or triple pane high-efficiency windows, you can reduce energy loss and decrease the costs of keeping your home comfortable.
If you think replacing the windows might be a bad idea right now, it’s not. In many cases, these types of home improvement projects are going to help lower your federal taxes and score you rebates. Plus, many utility companies will also offer you a rebate once you’ve purchased them. Speaking of purchasing—NEVER buy windows from a person who randomly shows up at your door. Those are almost always scams. Hire a professional contractor or go through normal retail channels.
If you can’t replace your windows right away or it seems cost-prohibitive, then at least look for leaks around the borders. Purchase insulation tape to shore up any obvious leaks.
Using these tips will help decrease your energy usage and costs which should result in a pleasant surprise the next time you open your utility bill.
Also—did we miss anything? If so, be sure to leave a comment!