It doesn’t matter whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner. Energy consumption plays a big role in how you budget for utilities. Learning how to reduce your energy usage can really help you maintain your budget, and help the environment out.
Saving the planet, while saving money? Heck yeah!
It’s not uncommon to get sticker shock when you get your utility bill, especially in cold places. There are plenty of ways to help reduce these costs, and we’re going to explore them.
Smart power strips, efficient appliances, and windows are just a few of these tips that may help you to reduce your overall utilities. Read on to discover energy saving ideas that are easy, more difficult, and some that take some real effort.
Tips to Save Energy at Home
There are easy changes that can help you reduce your energy usage. A quick trip to the store can get you the items you need to implement these energy saving tips.
Turn of the lights in rooms that you’re not using. Simple and easy. Turning the lights off also helps the light bulbs last longer, so it’s a double win.
Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights or LED bulbs. These light bulbs last longer, and use less energy. LED bulbs are said to reduce consumption by 75-80%.
Plug your TVs and other electronic devices into power strips. Then, turn these off when you’re not using your electronics. You’d be surprised how much power they use even in standby mode.
Lower your hot water heater temperature. This is especially useful if you have a tank style water heater. Even lowering it a few degrees can make a big difference on your utility bill, and you won’t notice the difference.
Make sure the dishwasher is full before running it. And try air drying the dishes by turning off the heated drying cycle.
Add weather stripping around your doors. This little thing can make such a difference. Don’t forget about the door leading out to the garage, either.
Close your blinds and curtains. That extra layer of insulation can really cut down on the temperature exchange coming through the glass.
More Difficult Ways to Save Energy at Home
Install a programmable thermostat. This isn’t difficult at all, but will take a bit of time, and is a little more expensive. You can turn the temperature down (or up) while you’re not home, and set the thermostat to be at your desired temperature when you get home. You’ll never know it wasn’t that toasty all day. Until you get your utility bill, that is.
Buy Energy Star appliances. Most appliances in the marketplace these days have the Energy Star label – but not all do. There are also different levels of energy consumption. Start looking at different models, and choose wisely when it’s time to replace an old or outdated appliance.
Get an energy audit done on your home. A professional will tell you where you’re leaking energy, if you have warm air leaking out, and if you need extra insulation. Then, start working on these tips.
Difficult and Expensive Ways to Save Energy
These ideas can be difficult, and on the pricier side. However, they also tend to be those investment moves that also make your home more comfortable, and more valuable.
Double paned windows. If you don’t already have double – or triple – paned windows, this change will make a world of difference in your home. It cuts down on the cold and hot temperatures coming through your windows, and decreases your energy bill greatly.
Install insulation. Chances are really good that your home could use more insulation. Most people think about insulation in the cooler months, but it also helps keep your air conditioning in the house during warmer months. The attic and crawl space are usually the easiest places to install insulation.
Find and seal air leaks. This isn’t that expensive, or difficult, just time consuming. And it works better with two people. You’ll need an open flame, or something like plastic wrap. Go around your windows, and look for air leaks. They’ll blow your flame or your plastic wrap. Then, you can caulk the window frame there, and help eliminate air leaks.
Install solar panels. Harness the sun’s energy and make it work for you. Installing solar panels can be a large upfront expense, but there are many programs that will help offset the installation costs. Sometimes, you can even sell the power back to the utility company.
These are just a few of the ways that you can reduce your energy usage, and in turn, reduce your utility bills.