Whether snow is falling or temperatures are sweltering, energy is always on the minds of most homeowners. Those who are concerned with environmental friendliness are worried about the effect of too much energy consumption on the planet, while others are more concerned with the budget-friendliness of heating and cooling their homes. Most consumers worry about both issues, and want to find ways to make their homes more energy efficient and rely less on their electric supplier.
Typically, the cost savings of energy efficiency are more immediate and much more observable than the benefits to the environment. If you’re looking for real-life, applicable numbers regarding your home’s use of energy resources, you’ve come to the right place.
Make it a Joint Effort
Saving money on energy costs isn’t something that mom and dad should do on their own. Post a list of energy efficiency tips in your home so your kids and all your visitors are regularly reminded that they can make a difference.
Got a Pool?
If you have a pool in your yard, it’s necessary to run your pool pump to keep water flowing and keep the water clean to swim in. During the winter, make sure you are only running your pump for four hours a day, and limit pumps to six hours a day in the summer. This is adequate time to keep your pool in good shape without raising your utility bills more than necessary.
Lower Your Thermostat
When the temperatures heat up, it’s miserable to be inside without some sort of air conditioning or fan, but cooling your home is incredibly expensive as the months get hotter. Switch your thermostat’s fan to auto and keep your home at 78 degrees or warmer during the summer. When you travel and are away from the home for several days at a time, raise the temperature to 82 degrees. There is no need to pay to keep your house cool when it is empty, and it’s a fairly quick process to drop the temperature to a more comfortable level once you get home.
During the colder months, keep your thermostat at an even 68 degrees. If you plan to be away from home for several days in the winter, drop the temperature to 65 degrees while you are gone.
Reduce Your Water Heater
Many consumers aren’t even aware that they have control over the temperature of their water heater. Lower your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees. The US Department of Energy recommends this as a great way to save money and energy, and you’ll save about $2 a month on your energy bills. That may not seem like much, but every little bit counts when you’re talking about energy.
No More Pre-Rinse
Does it ever seem like you’re washing your dishes twice when you have to pre-rinse them and then run them through the dishwasher? You can save up to $70 a year if you only use your dishwasher to wash your dishes. Take it easy on your budget and on yourself by completely cutting out the pre-rinse phase of washing your dishes.
Hit the Switch
Ceiling fans are great tools for moving air and cooling a room down, but when left on for long periods of time they just become energy suckers. Get in the habit of turning off your ceiling fans along with any lights when you leave a room. Just turning off your ceiling fans can save you around $7 each month on your energy bills.
Make sure the load size on your washer matches the size of the load you are washing. Move the water level to the correct size to avoid using too much water. This is particularly important when you are using hot water, and you should always use a cold rinse for all your laundry loads.
Your clothes will dry faster when you clean out the lint filter in the dryer before you start the appliance. You’ll cut back on your time spent doing laundry and on energy costs.
Avoid over-drying your clothes by using the auto sensor function on your dryer. This stops the dryer once the clothes are dry rather than continuously running until you push the stop button or open the door.
Easy Fixes for a Better Planet
If every family in the country began paying closer attention to their energy consumption and implemented these tips to save energy, the impact on the planet would be remarkable. If you feel like you’re not making a difference, take the time to track your monthly savings after you’ve implemented several energy saving tips.