Reducing the energy use within your home can have many positive benefits. For example, it can help you to save money in the long run and can also help to reduce your overall carbon footprint. The following information includes ways that you can begin reducing your energy usage within your home and become more cognizant about the positive impacts it can have on your finances and the planet:
Lowering Your Heating and Cooling Costs
When leaving the house, it is best to turn your heat down instead of off. This will help to save you money in the long run because frequently turning the heat off and on is more expensive. There are also other ways that you can save on your heating and cooling bill. For example, you can purchase plastic film to tape over your windows. This will keep cold air from seeping in through the cracks. If you find noticeable cracks, you can also use caulk to seal them. In addition, you can purchase strips that go underneath your door cracks, which keeps the cold air out.
During the warmer months, make sure that you keep your windows covered with blinds and curtains. This will help to block out some of the sun and keep your house cooler. Letting the sun in during the winter can have the opposite effect and can help keep your house warmer. If you have a fireplace with a chimney, you may want to keep it covered when it isn’t in use to prevent a draft. Lastly, if your house is poorly insulated, you may want to invest in having insulation properly installed. According to U.S. News, “Hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to heat and cold air escaping in homes without proper insulation. Get some inexpensive insulation from your local home improvement store, and plug up the areas where heat might escape. Start with foam weather stripping for your doors and windows; it’s cheap and easy to apply.”
Installing Smart Lighting and Energy-Efficient Lighting
Smart lighting is a relatively new feature that has many advantages. It can be defined as lighting with automated features that are controllable, such as the ability to sync it to the time of day. According to Kino, “Simply sync your light to the time of day or to the rhythms of your life. Greet sunset with light and greet visitors with light too. A nighttime visit to the bathroom illuminated by subtle glows to avoid disturbing others. You can even replay your typical lighting patterns when you’re away from home.” It can be controlled by your smartphone and gives you full dimming control. This type of technology is incredibly convenient and can go a long way toward reducing your energy use and saving you money. Also, it can help to reduce your heating and cooling system usage.
LED lights are another great way to reduce your energy consumption. LED lights use far less electricity than more traditional light bulbs. Also, they are a great alternative to CFL light bulbs, which can potentially be dangerous if they explode or are dropped. Overall, LED lights consume roughly 90% less energy than incandescent light bulbs and, while they may be more expensive than CFL light bulbs in some cases, they are worth the initial investment.
Be Mindful of Your Appliances and Devices
Appliances within the home typically use a lot of electricity. However, there are various ways you can reduce this energy usage. For example, you can use your dryer less by hanging your clothes up to dry. This process will take longer and may require more effort, but it can go a long way towards reducing your electricity bill. You may also want to consider using cold water in your washing machine when washing your clothes. This also can generate some savings.
If you are shopping for new appliances, you may want to look into products that are energy-efficient. Another important thing to consider is unplugging devices when they are not in use. For example, you can unplug your blender when it is not needed as well as your cell phone charger and computer. These types of devices drain unnecessary energy when left plugged in, even if they are turned off. Lastly, there are other measures you can take, which are pretty well-known. For example, you shouldn’t leave your television running when you aren’t watching it. Some people sleep with the television on, which wastes a good deal of electricity in the long run. You should also make sure that you turn off lights when they are not in use as well as ceiling fans. These are items that we tend to leave running without really putting too much thought into it. According to Solar-Estimate, you also need to consider “your household’s overall energy consumption. If occupants aren’t conservative in their use of appliances, lights, heating/cooling, etc., higher utility bills will continue.” If everyone who lives with you works to be conservative with power, you should be able to begin seeing an improvement in your energy bills by turning things off when they are not needed or being actively used.
Overall, there are many steps you can take and products you can utilize to make your home more energy efficient and save money on your bills. This will not only have a positive impact on your finances but it will also positively impact the environment. Reducing your energy consumption is often easier than you think and by doing the proper research, you should be able to find methods that work the best for you and your home.