You know it already—owning a home is expensive. Bills piling up every month can really stress a person out. Don’t let them. Starting energy saving habits and making some small changes in your home can make a real difference in your utility bills and ease the financial burden of homeownership.
Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling air and water can account for more than 50 percent of your home energy usage. You’ll get the most value from your energy saving efforts by focusing them on your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
- Thermostat: Make sure you have a programmable thermostat and set it to go easy on heating and AC while you’re away or asleep. This can reduce energy costs by as much as $150 per year. To save even more, turn your thermostat up a bit in summer and down a bit in winter, if it doesn’t affect your comfort too much. Turning your heat up slowly, degree by degree can save energy as well.
- Furnace filters: Replace your furnace filters regularly to prevent dirt from entering the furnace intake. Dirty coils cause the furnace to run less efficiently, which will cost you more.
- Water heater: Lower the temperature of your water heater to a maximum temperature of 120℉. For every 10℉, you can save $12–$30 a year.
- Doors, windows, and vents: Check these areas for leaks and seal them when you can. Air escaping from your home means that your HVAC systems will run longer, driving up your costs.
- Curtains: During the winter months, keep your curtains open during the day to let warm air in, and close them at night to help keep the warm air inside. That way, your HVAC systems won’t have to run as much to keep your home at your preferred temperature.
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Electronics don’t have quite the impact on energy costs that your cooling and heating systems do, but the little things can add up. Combining these small steps can result in big energy savings.
- Appliances: If you haven’t done so already, replace your refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, washing machine, dryer, and any other home appliance with Energy Star-approved products. The more energy efficient your appliances are, the smaller your electricity bill will be.
- Laundry: Wash your clothes with cold water as often as possible so your washing machine doesn’t have to heat up. The dryer can use an excessive amount of energy. Air dry clothes whenever you can to avoid using the dryer.
- Food: Your microwave or toaster oven are much more energy efficient than your conventional oven. Use those to reheat food whenever you can.
- Lighting: Install new CFL or LED light bulbs in all of your lighting fixtures. These lights use far less energy than older lighting technology. Turning lights off in the rooms you’re not using will reduce your electricity bill even more.
- Personal electronics: All of those computers, TVs, video game consoles, and chargers you’ve got lying around? If you’re not using them, turn them off and/or unplug them. Even a charger that’s not connected to your phone can be a power draw when it’s left plugged into the wall. Leaving a computer on all day costs about $75 dollars a year. When you apply that to all of your electronics, turning them off could save you a good amount of money.
Some energy saving tips don’t apply to everybody. Maybe you’re already doing some of the things on this list. Try a few fixes, start the habits that work for you, and see the savings in your home energy costs add up.
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Sources: www.energy.gov www.energystar.gov blog.constellation.com