Saving energy in your home isn't just about helping out the planet. It's also a great way to save money.
Despite our energy-hungry habits, overall energy usage per household has dropped in the US over the decades. Yet there's always more we can do, and what we've achieved goes to show what we can do if we put our minds to it.
So let's get started! Here are 9 simple tricks you can use to save energy (and money!) in your home.
1. Get Out of the Eighties
It's hard to overstate how far technology has come in recent decades. When weighed against how often a home receives a technological upgrade, the gap between the two is easy to spot.
Many devices in your home can benefit from an upgrade, from lightbulbs and boilers to gas cookers and electrical appliances. In most cases, up-to-date items will be the most energy-efficient—not just because of their newer technology, but also because older devices may lose efficiency over time.
Perform a quick survey of your home to identify appliances in need of an upgrade. Getting those upgrades can be expensive, but they'll save a lot of energy in the long run, and money with it.
2. Wash Without Waste
Washing clothes is one of the more energy-intensive things we do at home behind our general environmental control. Not only do we have to wash clothes often, but heating the water to wash clothes takes a lot of energy.
Switching to colder washes can save over $60 annually, as most of the energy for washing clothes goes to heating the water. Switching to a detergent optimized for cold-water usage will ensure that a cold wash won't compromise your cleanliness.
As an added monetary bonus, colder washes will put less stress on your fabrics, allowing clothes to last longer. In turn, this will also help to reduce your environmental impact still further.
If you're worried about cleanliness, you can always turn up the heat for heavily-soiled items, or for items where cleanliness is especially important.
3. The Insular Approach
Improving your insulation is, by far, one of the biggest ways to save energy at home.
Attic insulation will cut the amount of heat escaping through your roof while keeping your home breathable in the summer. Likewise, double-glazed windows and insulated doors will do the same for the rest of your house.
Considering getting an insulation audit to find out where your home is wasting energy.
4. One with Nature
Thanks to the convenience of the modern home, some energy wastage occurs as a result of working against nature. For instance, your instinct may be to turn on the AC in warm weather or the heating in cold weather.
Often, however, you can get comparable results by working with nature. Open windows and doors in summer, and dress appropriately to allow natural cooling to take place. Naturally, the opposite applies in winter.
This might sound like basic stuff, but it has become almost intuitive to rely on technology where low-tech solutions will do. You can then save those energy-intensive options for more extreme temperatures.
5. Apply Sense to Appliances
Most of us think nothing of the number of devices we have connected to the mains at any one time. Yet these devices, even on standby, are like energy-sucking leeches. Each one saps a little power from your home.
Consider disconnecting devices you're not using from the mains to save energy. This can also help free your home of some clutter, too.
6. Water Awareness
In the home, water provides a surprising medium for heat loss. We already covered washing clothes above, but it's true in many other cases, too.
For instance, have you ever thought about how much water you use when cooking? Taking care to only use as much water as you need will reduce the energy consumed.
Another way to reduce energy loss in this way is by taking more showers and fewer baths. Showers use less water overall and heat water more efficiently than baths.
7. A Room at a Time
When extremes of temperature force you to rely on energy-hungry appliances, consider the extent to which you need to use them.
It can be cheaper and more energy-efficient to only heat or cool the one or two rooms you have in active use. You should also factor in how many people are at home. If the whole family is around, then you're more justified in using a lot of energy. When you're alone, consider some blankets and a space heater instead.
8. Change Your Ways
Habitual changes can also lead to surprising energy savings in your home. For instance, dressing to suit the weather, switching lights off when you're done with them, or shutting doors behind you can all have a large net impact.
We've touched on some of these habits above, but here we wanted to emphasize that some changes are behavioral in nature. They're about learning to live differently, not just implementing a few fire-and-forget solutions.
This also involves getting your household on the same page. If you can train the children and teens of your family (including the grown-up ones...) to mind their energy usage, then you'll all be better off.
9. Install a Smart Meter
Many energy suppliers now offer smart meters. These allow you to see a full breakdown of your energy use, which has all the same advantages for energy that household budgeting does for money.
In other words, that extra visibility gives you extra control. When you know where your biggest expenditures are, you can then take steps to control them. You'll always know your next step when it comes to saving energy.
A smart meter will also help you build the big-picture view of your energy, so you'll be able to see how well your new energy-saving habits are working.
Simple Tips to Save Energy (And Money)
These straightforward tips make it easy to save energy and money in your home. There's always more you can do, though, so keep researching
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