Last year saw a spike in energy costs for most homeowners. The need to save on our energy costs has never been higher. Reducing energy consumption is a crucial way to save you money on monthly bills, leaving money available for you to do things you really like to do. Energy bills account for a significant portion of homeowners’ budgets every year. In this article, we’ve outlined 20 straightforward yet effective ways to cut down on your energy bills with guaranteed results.
Lights and Appliances
- Opt for LED Lights
LED lights are more energy-efficient and last longer than traditional lighting options. They use around 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and generate less heat, which means they’re a great alternative to reduce energy bills.
- Use natural light to brighten your home during the day
When building a house, ensure you have enough light spaces, windows, droplights and other ways to keep your house as light as possible during the day. If you are in a house that’s already built, you can also change or add some windows, or reduce the number of curtains or other elements that hinder light coming in. And you can change the lay-out of rooms so that places where you’d need light the most, such as study-desks and reading areas, are always near a window.
- Unplug Unused Appliances
We often keep our electronic devices plugged in for too long, even if we don’t use them. The truth is, unplugging unused appliances can make a big difference in your energy costs. For instance, leaving your television, computer, and other devices plugged into the outlet when not in use can lead to a significant energy drain. You should also consider using smart power strips or smart plugs to turn certain appliances and lights off automatically. Of course, you should also switch off lights in rooms that are not currently being used.
- Install Low-Flow Showerheads and Faucets
Switching to low-flow showerheads can lead to real gains in the long term. It can help you reduce water usage and heating costs, sparing you money in the process.
- Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they’re full
These are two energy-draining appliances, so you want to use them as little as possible. Instead of switching them on when they’re half-full, you can avoid one whole run by waiting to fill them up completely before running them.
- Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of a dryer
Clothes dryers also use a lot of energy. Whenever you have the chance just to hang your clothes out to dry, you can save significantly.
- Use a microwave or toaster oven instead of a full-sized oven when possible
These appliances typically use less time, and therefore less energy per use, compared to traditional full-sized ovens. You should also consider using a slow cooker to cook meals with less energy.
- Avoid Preheating Your Oven or Airfryer
If you do use an oven, you can save energy by skipping its preheat function. It’s a myth that preheating is necessary, and it can lead to wasted energy. Turn on the oven to the desired temperature, and put in your food to start cooking.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer full to help maintain temperature and reduce energy use
Keeping your refrigerator and freezer full is a good idea because the items inside act as insulation, helping to maintain the temperature and reduce energy use. When the door is opened, cold air escapes and warm air enters, causing the appliance to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. However, when the refrigerator or freezer is full, there is less space for warm air to enter, and the items inside help to keep the cold air in. This means that the appliance doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature, which ultimately leads to energy savings and a longer lifespan for the appliance.
- Get Energy Star Appliances
Appliances with Energy Star certification can save you energy and money. Energy Star appliances are designed and tested to be efficient and long-lasting, allowing them to run on a lower energy bill.
- Use Cold Water for Washing Laundry
Most washing machines can perform well with colder water temperatures. Using cold water can reduce energy consumption by up to 90% compared to hot water.
Heating and Cooling
- Utilize a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats can help reduce heating and cooling expenses by letting you control the amount of energy being used in your house. You can set it to turn off or adjust the temperature when you’re not home, saving you on your monthly bills, or adjust your thermostat to a comfortable yet energy-efficient temperature, instead of high all the time.
- Use a ceiling fan to circulate air and keep rooms cool
Air conditioners are notoriously energy-draining. So if you can avoid using them in some of your rooms and replace them with ceiling fans, you can save a lot of money.
- Plant trees or install shading devices to keep your home cool in the summer
To avoid having to install air conditioners or other cooling devices in your home, you should consider planting trees near your house to keep direct sunlight out. Of course, do consider point 2 above when selecting the location for these trees, but you can also install window shades that can be used only when needed.
- Check Your Home Insulation
Without proper insulation, air from outside can leak into your home. Check and improve your insulation, especially in areas such as attics, ceilings, and basements. This can help reduce your heating and cooling expenses. Remember, a well-insulated home is an energy-efficient home.
- Fix Any Drafty Spots
Drafts can contribute significantly to the loss of heat or cool air. Pay attention to small gaps around windows and doors, which can be covered with weather stripping or foam tape to prevent draftiness.
- Upgrade Your Windows
Upgrading your windows to double-paned or glaze is another way to minimize energy costs. They are more energy-efficient and help keep heat or cold outside, reducing the need to heat or cool your home.
- Replace Your Air Filters
Air filters are designed to trap dust, pollutants, and other particles that can affect the indoor air. Dirty air filters can cause the system to work harder, leading to increased energy consumption. By replacing the filters regularly, you can ensure that the HVAC system is working efficiently.
- Use a cover on your pool to keep it warm and reduce evaporation
If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool at your home, make sure you cover it when not in use, to reduce your heating, cleaning and refilling costs.
- Consider investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels
Consider installing solar panels to generate free energy. It might seem expensive at the outset, but it’s a long-term savings opportunity that can reduce your energy bills substantially over time.
Now that we’ve outlined the top twenty things you can do to save energy, it’s time to start implementing them. Even if you start small, the benefits can lead to significant savings in the long term. What are you waiting for? Start saving today!