When you have a little extra cash, you don’t want to be spending it on your energy bill. Not only can energy costs add up very quickly, but this extra energy usage is harmful to the environment. Take a look at these tips to help you cut energy costs so you can spend your money on more important things.
First, evaluate your current energy usage to know where you stand. This can be done online at http://www.energystar.gov/. All you need to do is make an account to get started and gauge your energy usage.
Make sure your house is sealed up properly so that you’re not wasting any heating and cooling energy. Take a look at your windows, your fireplace, etc.
Replace some of your light fixtures with energy-efficient light bulbs. Each energy-efficient light bulb can save around $6 a year and use 70% less energy.
Try switching to a natural gas water heater.
Plug your TV and DVD players into a power strip and switch it off when not in use. Do the same with cell phone chargers as they continue to draw energy even when not in use. Turn off printers, fax machines, desktop computers, etc. when not in use.
Consider getting a smart power strip. This can be configured to turn off related devices when the hub device is turned off, for example, your Xbox and TV speakers turning off when you turn off your TV.
The Conserve Valet charging station can be used to plug in up to 4 USBs and automatically turns off power completely when your devices are fully charged.
Consider updating your fridge. A newer Energy-star rated fridge model will only cost you about $20 a year, compared to $140 a year for a fridge from before 1993. Plus, a newer stainless steel model will add to your home’s retail value down the road.
Do more loads of laundry at once. Running the dryer multiple times in a row will allow you to use the residual heat from the previous load.
Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
Turn off lights when you’re not in the room. This is probably the easiest and most obvious way to save energy, though it is often forgotten.
Use a lamp timer to make sure that items get turned off when not in use.
Check that your furniture is not blocking any air ducts.
If you have rooms that you rarely use, close the doors to cut them off from receiving any cool air. This way you only use energy in the rooms that you’re in.
Make sure your central air conditioning unit is clean of leaves, dirt, etc.
If you need water for something but it doesn’t matter what temperature the water is, always use cold water. It takes more energy to get the water warm.
Clean your dishwasher once a week and make sure the drain is not clogged with food.
Use glass and ceramic dishes in the oven, as they hold heat better than other dishes.
Opening the oven to see if your food looks ready will make you lose about 25 to 75 degrees. Try looking through the window to check on your food.
Make sure to not overload your dryer, as your clothes will not dry effectively and will require extra cycles.
Implementing even a couple of these energy-saving methods in your household could mean a few extra bucks a month, and a reduction in your carbon footprint.