Conserving energy not only helps the environment, but it also saves you money. In an economy where every penny counts, conserving energy could prove extremely beneficial to your household. As a whole, society has become particularly dependent on the energy around us. It fuels the things around us and makes our lives easier. While living without energy would be nearly impossible for most, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be more efficient with the way we use energy. If you want to save money on your bills and reduce your carbon footprint, here are some ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
About 60 percent of the energy used in homes goes into heating and cooling. Clearly, this is where you can make the biggest savings on energy costs.
- Reduce the thermostat. One degree centigrade is comparable to saving 5 percent on your electric bill. That’s how keeping your thermostat low can save you money. The ideal temperature during winter is no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit and in the summer it’s no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep the curtains closed. This is helpful to deflect heat in the summer in rooms that get lots of sun or for rooms on a second floor where it tends to stay warmer.
- Use a humidifier. Indoor temperatures are more comfortable with the proper amount of humidity, which is about 40-50%.
- Use a fan. Before thinking about turning up your air conditioner, you should cool off first by using fans.
- Avoid keeping unnecessary lights on. Whenever you leave the room, make a habit of turning off the lights. Each watt of lighting requires the expenditure of 1/2 watt of air-conditioning power.
- Unplug your appliances. Although appliances may be switched off, they can still consume electricity. These types of appliances are called “phantom loads” because they still consume an energy while plugged in. Therefore, even if you didn’t “use” the appliances, you still end up with a higher bill at the end of the month.
- Keep heat away from appliances. Appliances tend to use more power when subjected to high temperatures, which leads to more electricity consumption.
- Check your water heater settings. The hot water heater thermostat should be set at 120°F which is just below the “normal” setting.
- Take quicker showers. You can also install a flow-restrictor pipe to the shower head. This device is easy to install, inexpensive and restricts the flow of water by several gallons of water per minute.
- Be conservative with washing dishes. Avoid prewashing the dishes when you run the dishwasher and only run full loads. You should also set the dishes to air dry instead of using the machine dry option for a bonus of energy savings.
You don’t have to be a master mechanic to save energy in your home. All it takes is a few household tools, some items from your local hardware retailer and incorporating a few of these energy saving tips into your daily life.