Let’s face it. We’re all guilty of at least a few energy wasting habits and could definitely do more to promote energy saving at home and at work. If you choose right electricity plan, that’s a good start. But even more important is to cut out as many of those energy wasting habits at home as you possibly can.
The Many Ways to Be Smart About Energy Use
Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a large house, here are some of the most effective, simple ways to say goodbye to energy wasting habits at home:
- Not using a programmable thermostat: For about 10 bucks, you can purchase a programmable thermostat and install it in your home. These amazing little devices can quickly reduce your daily energy consumption. All you have to do is program them with a high and low temperature and forget about it.
- Putting your water-heater thermostat over 120 degrees: Here’s a tip that some people haven’t even thought about but only takes a minute. Check to make sure your water heater is set at or below 120 degrees. Anything higher than that is actually a complete waste of power. At 120, you’ll still be able to take hot showers, do dishes, and take warm baths.
- Leaving lights on: This tip is one of the easiest ways to chop a decent chunk off your monthly utility bills. It’s pretty common for people to forget about lights in unoccupied rooms. Make it a point to walk from room to room at least once every few hours to be certain that you turn off lights, music systems, TVs, and any other appliances that are gobbling up electricity for no reason.
- Not changing air filters: Most people are aware that they should change their HVAC filters every few months, but it’s easy to forget. This is a good way to save energy by allowing your system to run more efficiently, and to have cleaner, purer air in your home.
- Over-using the refrigerator: How many times per day do you “browse” the fridge and freezer? If you’re like most people, you probably open and close those doors dozens of ties per day. Instead, try to use the fridge only during meal times and avoid the “drive-by” checks for snack items several times each day.
- Using “old fashioned” light bulbs: If you replace all the bulbs in your home with LEDs, your energy bill will sink like a rock in a pond. That’s because LEDs use about 80 percent less electricity than standard bulbs. Plus, they last about ten times as long. So, don’t fret about the higher price of LEDs, because you get plenty of value for your dollar by using these modern wonders.
- Under-using the washer, dryer, and dish washer: Try to fill laundry loads, dryer loads, and dishwasher loads whenever you use those appliances. Under-filling them is a flat-out waste of energy because these essential appliances use the exact same amount of electricity whether they are full, empty, or in between. Get the maximum, most efficient use from them by filling them every time.
- Heating and cooling too many rooms: Don’t forget to use the vents on your HVAC systems. If you have two or three rooms that don’t need to be heated or cooled, shut the vents in unused rooms and cut your utility bill by a significant amount.
- Not shopping for the best energy provider: Don’t leave the selection of your energy provider to chance. Check out your options and see if there are discount or off-peak plans that can save you money. Hooking up with the right provider can be a powerful way to reduce your annual utility expenses by many hundreds of dollars.
- Placing warm items in your fridge: If you have warm foods or liquids that you want to store in your refrigerator, let them come down to room temperature before placing them inside. That way, you won’t be forcing the large appliance to bring them from a high temperature to a cool one. The same goes for placing water in ice cube trays. Always use cool water, not hot, to do this chore. Otherwise, you make your freezer work overtime to create your cubes.
- Use cold water to wash clothing: It’s safe and hygienic to use cold water to wash all your clothes. Modern detergents are able to achieve a level of cleanliness that is perfectly acceptable. Plus, even if you have a few “special” items that need to be washed in warm water, consider doing them in a small tub by hand. When drying, remove several items that don’t need hot air, like towels and t-shirts. Place those things on hangars in your restroom or garage and let them hang-dry.
- Not using a power strip:Many appliances, like TVs and stereo systems, tend to use electricity even when they aren’t being used. If they’re plugged into the wall, they are consuming at least a small amount of electricity. If you plug several items into a power strip, you can shut them all off with the flick of a switch and reduce energy consumption instantly.
Having the Right Attitude
Creating an “energy saving” frame of mind is the best way to eliminate energy wasting habits from your life. One good way to begin is to choose several tips from above list and post them in a prominent place in your home. The fridge door is usually ideal. As you go through your day, you’ll see the tips dozens of times and they’ll become part of your waking consciousness. After that, energy saving will become a way of life for you because those tips will be second nature. So, take action now to get rid of at least a few of your energy wasting habits and watch your utility bills slowly go down, month after month.