Conserving energy in your home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here are 10 ways to save energy in your home and lower your electric bill.
1. Use your clothesline.
This might seem like an outdated way to do your laundry, but driers are one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home. If you do one or more loads of laundry per day, you can save a significant amount of energy by hanging your laundry out to dry. Plus, your clothes will smell great!
2. Turn down your water heater.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below and you could see a reduction on your next electric or gas bill. This is also recommended if you have children to prevent accidental burns.
3. Turn off appliances when you leave the house.
You probably won’t want to unplug the fridge before taking a weekend road trip, but you should turn off computers, cable/satellite receivers, air conditioners or space heaters, and other non-essential devices that you would normally leave on. Turning off these gadgets before you go to work can save energy throughout the week too.
4. Get rid of extension cords.
Extension cords increase your energy consumption, especially if you use them all the time. The farther electricity has to travel, the more powerful the surge must be to power your electronics. If you have an appliance plugged into an extension cord, find a closer outlet or move the appliance. If you absolutely must use an extension cord, use the shortest one possible to minimize the distance the electricity has to travel.
5. Replace your bulbs.
Energy savings light bulbs are more expensive than regular incandescent bulbs, but they’re worth every penny. These bulbs use significantly less energy than their predecessors; they also last a lot longer. They do take longer to “warm up”, and if this bothers you simply leave one old-fashioned incandescent bulb in the light fixture to provide instant lighting while the energy savers reach full capacity.
6. Unplug your cell phone charger.
Phone chargers continue to siphon energy even after your wireless device is fully charged. They even pull energy from the outlet when they aren’t plugged into a device, so unplug them when your phone, tablet, or laptop computer is charged.
7. Turn the heat down (or the AC up).
You probably won’t notice that your house is 2 degrees cooler than usual, but it could amount to big savings on your utility bill. Of all 10 ways to save energy in your home, this trick probably provides the best savings for the least amount of effort.
8. Use your toaster oven for baking.
Instead of heating up your regular oven, which uses tons of energy and warms the whole kitchen, use a toaster oven to bake cookies, personal pizzas, and other small-to-medium-size dishes. They’re smaller, so they use less time and energy to heat up and cool down.
9. Use timer switches to turn off appliances when you aren’t there.
Do you switch on your flood lights or porch lamp before going to work? Instead of leaving it on all day, install a timer switch and set it to come on when the sun goes down. This will conserve electricity as well as light bulbs.
10. Hang insulated curtains.
Also called thermal drapes, these energy-saving window treatments will keep heat from escaping through your windows or patio doors. They come in a wide range of styles, and if you’re not into drapes you can also purchase insulated roller shades or Roman blinds.
Using any of these 10 ways to save energy in your home will lower your utility costs and decrease your carbon footprint. Using all 10 can add up to real savings on your electric and gas bills, and you will feel great about making positive changes around your home.