There are many reasons to reduce your energy consumption, two of them being cost and the environment. As we start the new decade, more people are conscious of their role in climate change as well as a fluctuating economy.
There’s no better time than now to start saving on energy. In this article, we’ll go over six ways you can conserve electricity in your home. Some of the tips included are simple to put into practice, while others may require an initial investment.
Replace Your Lightbulbs
The traditional incandescent bulbs in many homes consume an unnecessary amount of electricity. You should replace these energy consumers with more efficient alternatives. Light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use 25-80% less electricity.
LEDs and CFLs also last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs. Efficient lighting can be more expensive when you’re comparing prices in the store, but they’re cheaper in the long run.
Use a Smart Power Strip
Phantom loads are the term for the electricity that’s used by electronics when they’re turned off. We’re all guilty of consuming a vast amount of this energy when we leave phones, or laptop chargers plugged in.
It’s estimated that 75% of electricity consumed by typical household electronics occurs when they’re switched off. The costs from phantom loads can add up over time.
There are a few reasons that these devices continue to use a lot of electricity even when they’re turned off. Voice-activated devices, for example, are continuously using energy so it can hear when you make commands.
Any appliance or electronic that can be put into “standby” mode, like a computer monitor or printer will pull electricity when it’s not operating. The entertainment systems in your house are the biggest culprits of phantom loads.
A solution to this unnecessary cost is a smart power strip. This utility looks similar to a standard power strip, but they turn off the power that would be wasted. The circuitry is designed to monitor and control power to improve efficiency.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A smart thermostat or one that’s programmable will automatically turn your heating and air conditioning down or off. When you’re sleeping at night or away from the house, this device will be eliminating wasteful energy.
Since nearly half of most energy bills are made up of heating and cooling costs, installation is a saving move. According to Green Mountain Energy, homeowners that properly use a programmable thermostat save an estimate of $180 a year.
Energy Efficient Windows
Windows can use from 10-25% of your total heating bill. If you want to prevent heat loss and drafts, replace the single-pane with a double-pane.
When you’re deciding on which windows would be most efficient for your home, consider your environment. For those who live in extremely cold regions, gas-filled windows with coatings can reduce your heating expense significantly. Storm windows also reduce heat loss.
In warmer weather, heat gain through the windows can be a problem and run up your AC bill. Low-e coatings on windows reflect more light and lower the amount of thermal energy in your home.
Weatherize Your Home
Another way to optimize the temperature inside your home is to seal the air leaks around your house. The most common source of these costly drafts are vents, windows, and doors.
To weatherize your home, you should add caulk to window frames and the trim of your walls. For cracks between windows and doors, you can find some weather stripping.
Attics need special attention when it comes to weatherization. It’s important for light fixtures and other small openings that may be present. Make sure that your attic is well insulated if you want to reap the savings of weatherization.
Practice Sustainable Habits
You don’t necessarily have to go to a store and buy gadgets to save energy. One of the best ways to reduce electricity costs in 2020 is to adjust your daily behavior. There are many sustainable practices that you can adopt in everyday life.
Unplug Appliances and Electronics
As we mentioned before, keeping devices plugged in can drain a lot of energy even if you don’t notice. Chargers for cell phones, tablets, laptops, speakers, and headsets are some of the biggest culprits. Even if it seems like it’s just a small amount of consumption, it adds up.
Keep all of your chargers in a convenient place. When you need to charge your cell phone, speaker, or laptop, plug it in. Once your device is juiced up, unplug it and put the cord back. Once you practice, it will quickly become a habit.
Air Dry Your Clothes
If you live in a place with warm or temperate weather, opt for air-drying your clothes after washing them. You don’t always have to turn to the dryer, even though it’s convenient. When the sun is shining, and the fresh breeze is blowing, your clothes will dry beautifully and smell great.
In the summer your clothes will dry quickly, though in the winter it could take a day or so. If you don’t have outdoor space for line-drying, buy a rack and place it by a window. You might even find that your clothes keep their color and maintain quality for longer.
Switch Off the Lights
While savings depend on the bulbs you use, it’s an environmentally-conscious habit to switch off your lights. It’s also so simple, flick the switch when you walk out. If you need lighting that stays on at all times, go for LED lights which conserve energy and are safe.
Why It’s Important to Be Energy-conscious
Cutting down on energy consumption is a good idea. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint. By investing in certain smart devices for your home, you can also increase the property value of your home.
If your goal is to save as much energy as possible, you should research utility companies that emphasize sustainability. Visit this page to find out about companies that reward you for energy savings.