Given that we live in an age of technology and of technological advancements, it goes without saying that our home uses more and more energy with almost every new item that we buy.
This is because only a few of the newest items that everybody wants to have in their home don’t have to be plugged in – while the majority relies on electric energy, for example, and on a stable internet connection.
Still, this advancement in technology doesn’t mean that we can no longer save energy and, therefore, reduce our utility bill. Here are some of the tips and tricks that you can use to make your household energy-efficient!
Get Rid of Incandescent Bulbs
Even though incandescent bulbs are no longer being manufactured, people may still have some in their homes, waiting to burn out and be replaced.
However, although they stood the test of time, it’s recommended that you change them with halogen bulbs, light-emitting diode bulbs, or compact fluorescent lamps. These come with a light that lasts for much longer, not to mention that they are highly energy-efficient.
Space Heater Usage
Cool-weather, as we all know it, asks for a cozier environment. As such, we make use of gas and electric space heaters to keep ourselves – mostly our feet – warm. Still, it is well-known that space heaters are not one of the best ways – energy-wise – to heat your home.
Like many other home appliances, space heaters are bad for energy – with roughly 1,500 watts of energy usage. This is why you should either choose an energy-efficient model or switch your heating method.
Newer thermostat models allow you to have them automatically adjust according to your own schedule. As such, the thermostat will lower the temperature when you are at work and – if the system is advanced enough – will get it back to cozy levels before you get home.
Studies showed that if you lower the temperature by at least 10 degrees while you are at work of away for a longer period, you will end up saving up to 15% energy every single year.
Full Refrigerator/ Freezer
Believe it or not, refrigerators – as well as freezers -, operate better in terms of energy when they are full of products. If they are full of things that will eventually get cool and maintain the low temperature on themselves, the refrigerator/ freezer won’t have to use energy to pump cold into them.
However, you shouldn’t have them too full, as a tight space reduces airflow and makes the appliance work harder and consume more energy. Also, you can simply use water bottles to make the refrigerator/ freezer fuller!
Turn Off and Unplug
Many people believe that plugged appliances or items don’t use energy if they are turned off. Naturally, that’s not the case with all types of items, as most of them will still use energy – for example, PC units still have a couple of LEDs that stay on when turned off.
As such, you should turn off your computer when you’re not using it, as well as your printer, monitor, fax machine, or any other item and don’t forget to unplug those that you don’t use often as well.
HVAC System Tune-Up
Yearly HVAC system cleanups ensure that the system’s connections are tightened and that all of the parts inside it are cleaned and lubricated properly. On top of that, a tune-up performed by a professional with also make the HVAC system run at full efficiency, thus saving you money.
Given that HVAC systems are quite expensive and no one would want to replace them every 5 years or so, it is recommended that you schedule yearly cleanups and tune-ups for them!
Limit Hot Water Usage
Obviously, you should choose cold or warm water washing whenever possible – this applies to your dishwasher, for example, as well as to any other hot-water appliance that may be used with cold or warm water.
According to some statistics, only 10% of the energy that a washer uses is actually needed to power and tune the appliance. The other 90% is used to simply get the water hot. Therefore, using cooler water when washing can save you a lot of energy in the long run.
Window Shades Tricks
Even though you may be inclined to close your shades – or blinds, drapes, curtains – during winter, so as to keep cold away, you should, in fact, keep them open so that the light/ sun can warm up your home.
On the other hand, warmer months require you to close shades, but only on the home’s sunny side, if you want to maintain lower interior temperatures and reduce the strain on your HVAC system.
Replace Old Appliances
Last but not least, as mentioned above, you should try to replace any appliances that are no longer capable of being energy-efficient or that simply run poorly – and thus cause your household to consume more energy.
When buying new appliances, you should also look into those that come with a good energy rating. Although they may be a bit more expensive, they’ll save you quite a bit of money in the long run, especially when it comes to larger items such as washing machines or refrigerators.
The Bottom Line
Naturally, there are more tricks that you can rely on to make your household energy-efficient. For example, you can seal any cracks and insulate every important part of your house – from windows to the attic.
However, if you don’t want to do so, you could also rely on shrubs and shade trees. Plant them around your house – especially on the west side – and they will block the infrared radiation that warms your home during summer.
There are a lot of things that you can do to lower your energy bill, but you have to take your time and explore all of them. What’s most important is that there are both low-cost and high-cost options – in short, no matter the situation, you can have an energy-efficient household!