With power costs continually on the rise and the looming threat of climate change on the not-so-distant horizon, it is more important than ever to find ways to save energy. The good news is, there are simple steps that you can take to reduce your monthly power usage. This, in turn, can lower your monthly bills while simultaneously minimizing your personal impact on the environment.
Here are 10 simple ways that you can start lowering your energy costs today:
1. Use LED Bulbs
Go through your house and replace all of your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. According to the US Department of Energy, LED bulbs use as much as 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs that are comparable in terms of the amount of light that they provide. Check with your local power company to see if they have free LED bulbs available. Many power providers offer free bulbs to their customers to help reduce the strain on the local power grid.
2. Use Motion Sensors
Consider using occupancy sensors to automatically turn lights on and off in your home when someone enters a room. These sensors work best in bathrooms, walk in closets, and other rooms where you typically don’t spend a lot of time but may forget to turn the lights off when you leave.
3. Clean Filters
Frequently clean or replace the filters in your furnace and air conditioner. Dust and debris can reduce airflow, forcing these appliances to work harder.
4. Buy A Learning Thermostat
Install a programmable thermostat like a Nest and set it to turn the temperature down when no one is at home during the day and at night while you are sleeping.
5. Check For Leaks
Check for air leaks around your windows or doors by lighting a stick of incense and holding it up next to the seams. Watch the trail of smoke to see if it is affected by incoming or outgoing air. If you find any leaks, seal them with caulk.
6. Plant Trees
On the south side of your house, plant deciduous trees. As they grow, the trees will provide cool shade in the summer. In the winter, they will lose their leaves, allowing the sun to naturally heat your home.
7. Check Your Vents
Check all of your air vents to make sure that they are not blocked by furniture or drapery.
8. Check Your Water Heater
Check the temperature setting on your water heater. Reducing the temperature to 120° can provide you with plenty of hot water while dramatically lowering your monthly energy costs.
9. Do Laundry More Efficiently
Reduce the cost of doing laundry by waiting to wash your clothing until you have a full load. Most clothing can be washed in cold water rather than hot water to save even more energy. Once the wash cycle is done, consider hanging up the clothes to dry them rather than putting them in the dryer for additional savings.
10. Dress For The Weather At Home
Dress appropriately for the weather. If it is cold outside, consider putting on a sweater or wearing thick slippers instead of turning up the heat. Likewise, during the summer months, wear shorts, tank tops, or other lightweight clothing to stay cool rather than relying solely on your air conditioner.
Saving energy at home is easy. These 10 simple tips should help you see a significant reduction in your monthly power costs.