7 Energy Saving Tips You Should Remember
Electricity is a utility that we tend to take for granted. Although there are a lot of places around the world that don’t have good electrical infrastructures, in the US, we should consider ourselves lucky. However, electricity can be expensive. In 2015, the average U.S household consumed 901 kWh per month. That’s a lot of energy!
Even if you’re not worried about climate change, you probably wouldn’t mind having a lower electric bill. Luckily, you don’t need to get really fancy to save money. Although solar panels and geothermal heating systems have great return on investment over the long run, there are other simple ways to reduce your energy costs. One smart approach is to improve energy efficiency before generating more electricity for inefficient appliances.
Before you commit to going solar, it’s easier to begin with simple solutions. Here is a list of our favorite energy saving tips that we’ve compiled to help you reduce your energy costs.
Easy Energy Saving Tips
- Get a home energy audit
As the saying goes “you can’t manage, what you don’t measure.” One of the first steps to improving energy efficiency starts with determining where you might be losing energy (and money). Hiring an energy auditor to do a simple checkup of your home will help you measure your home’s current energy use, analyze its weaknesses and make recommendations about how to make the most cost effective energy-efficiency improvements. The best part about this tip, is that many utility companies offer this service for free!
- Change your light bulbs
Light bulbs are among the most energy consuming things people use. Even though they don’t use a lot of electricity on their own, when you have half a dozen lights on all day and night, things start to add up. LED light bulbs are arguably the easiest change you can make. LEDs can save you up to 75% of your energy usage. Many electric companies or municipalities will offer rebates or credits for switching to LED lights. So, start swapping out your incandescent or CLS light bulbs in favor of more cost-efficient LED bulbs and get the biggest bang for your buck.
- Smart Home Automation
Today, almost every electronic device has a smart alternative on the market. Although it’s easy to write off technology as a luxury, most of these devices can help you reduce your energy usage each month. For example, once you install a whole-house energy monitor, you’ll get real-time energy usage stats sent right to your phone. Whether it’s a thermostat that learns your family’s habits or sprinklers that don’t turn on when it rains, smart home appliances and devices can help you curb your energy demands.
- Run appliances at night
One of the simplest ways to save money on electricity is to run your appliances at night. Because everyone uses energy during day time hours, utility companies tend to charge more during peak time. Rates are typically lower during off-peak hours and simply running your dishwasher at night instead of during the day can significantly save on electricity, gas, and water costs.
- Turn off your power strip
Even if your electronics are turned off, they are still consuming energy. These “energy vampires” keep a little bit of electricity going so they can respond more quickly to things like being turned back on. By turning off the power strip, you are effectively cutting off all electricity to your electronics so they don’t use energy without your knowledge.
- Insulate Properly
Without proper insulation, the money you spend heating and cooling your home could escape through windows, doors, or the roof. This can result in your HVAC unit working harder to keep your home comfortable. Adding a new layer of insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more energy efficient. The best part is that you can do this easy hack yourself! Before laying any new insulation, be sure to plug up any large openings and seal off small cracks.
- Manage your ceiling fans
If you use your ceiling fan correctly, you can save a lot of money. During the summer, you you’re your fan to run counter-clockwise at a higher speed. This causes the air to blow down, thus cooling the room and keeping you comfortable. In the winter, you want your fan to run clockwise at a low speed. Since heat rises, the warm air near your ceiling is moved into the main part of your room.
Keep it consistent
None of these tips are going to save you all that much money on their own, but when done together, they will make a significant impact on your electric bill. However, if you combine all of them and keep an eye on the obvious things (like, turning off the lights when you leave your room), you can save a ton of money. Just remember, consistency is key. If you end trying any of these energy saving tips, stick with it! It doesn’t help if you do these things once or twice. . If you do end up going solar after you perform these energy efficiency upgrades, you will secure predictable energy costs for decades to come.