While today is National Energy Conservation Day, as we look for ways to improve our direct impacts to climate change, here at Consumer Energy Alliance, we believe the act of conserving energy should be observed all year round. Everyone feels overwhelmed with what they can do, but it’s the little things that add up to make a bigger difference. By integrating small changes in your everyday routine, you can make a difference in the way you use energy in your home. With that, here are five ways to conserve energy at home:
Energy Efficient Appliances
Home appliances consume 13% of your energy bill each month, but using energy efficient versions of home appliances can reduce that percentage. Cooling + heating technologies, water heaters, washing machines, and dryers are some of the top home appliances that use the most amount of energy. Appliances with Energy Star ratings are guaranteed to reduce energy usage in your home, helping consumers save money without having to sacrifice quality or performance. Two things to keep in mind when purchasing home appliances: The price and how often you use them. Energy Star appliances ensure consumers are aware of the real cost and savings of their energy efficient appliances.
LED light bulbs are designed to be a more energy-efficient light source, and the benefits of these bulbs are many. Their longevity, price over time, and improved quality of light are some of the greatest benefits. Residential LED light bulbs actually use at least 75% less energy, and last up to 25x longer than incandescent light bulbs. Sticker shock is definitely an aspect to factor in when looking to purchase these energy efficient bulbs, however the cost in the long run actually makes these bulbs the most cost effective choice!
Regulate Your Thermostat
One other simple solution to cut down on energy costs is to manage the thermostat temperature around your household’s habits. Some may say this is easier said than done though, since comfortability may not be as compatible with cost savings as we’d all like. While regulating the temperature at home can be done manually, there are other ways to automatically program your household’s optimal temperatures without the hassle. These smart thermostats ‘learn your household’s habits’ and creates settings you’ll like while you’re home in order to optimize energy savings.
Many of us are guilty of leaving cords and chargers plugged in after we’ve finished using them. In fact, we bet most people do, but unfortunately those devices waste energy. Sadly, even this small act actually wastes up to ten times more passive energy. Devices that continue to drain energy even when they are turned off are referred to as energy vampires, and lurk in your home year-round. You can limit the amount of energy you waste with power strips that have an on/off switch is a great way to control the flow of power to a group of devices. There are so many different sizes of power strips online now that can help you turn multiple devices off when you don’t need them, making energy conservation as easy as flipping a switch!
Ensure Insulation is Updated
Whether you live up north or down south, fixing faulty insulation or repairing small fractures in your home can make a world of difference to your energy bill. Although the amount of savings varies where you live, you could save between $250 – $500 a year on your utility bill just by making this one update. Besides where you live, the cost and need for insulation repairs really depends on the age and size of your home and the type of weather you typically experience.
How do you know if you have problems with your insulation?
Many local utilities perform energy audits that help give you an idea of where to begin by checking common places like attics, the space between floorboards, exterior walls, unheated spaces, windows, and doorframes. Improving the insulation in your home will not only save you money on your monthly energy bill, but it can also help to identify other areas in your home where you could use energy more efficiently!
While it seems the biggest motivation in reducing energy use is to save money, it not only benefits your bank account, it also helps the planet. By making a conscious decision every day to find little things that increase your energy conservation, you can make a difference in your carbon footprint.