One easy and achievable goal for 2016 is to save energy. It’s so easy that you can start this minute, and it can make a drastic change in your budget and lifestyle.
You may be a part of the average American household majority that consumes 11,700 kilowatt-hours of energy each year to the tune of about $3,012. If you are, then you are also part of the majority that is 39-percent inefficient in their use of electricity.
Most homeowners mistakenly think that saving energy involves time-consuming, expensive home improvement projects for solar power, or an overhaul of your air-conditioning system. All it takes for the family to practice a few good habits.
Saving on energy costs can be as easy as setting timers and changing a few lights. Here are 11 achievable and effective ways to save on your power bill, and help the environment:
You’ve probably read about how LED lights last longer, burn brighter, and consume less energy. It’s all true. Energy efficient bulbs like LEDs consume 25%-80% less energy compared to traditional incandescents, and they last and 3 to 25 times longer. Switching to LED bulbs is a great way to save money, and save energy.
Use a timer to turn your lights on and off automatically at certain times of the day. Keep the lights off in the middle of the day, especially when it’s sunny out, or any other time when you’re not home.
Those tiny indicator lights on your appliances consume electricity and do add up in long-term energy costs. Even appliances that are turned out will use a small amount of electricity if you leave them plugged in. Consider unplugging appliances when you’re not using them, especially if you’re going on a long vacation.
If you have a large room to cool down, face one fan outside the window and another toward the room to help air circulate. This is more efficient and more effective than having two fans pointing inside the room.
A clean A/C unit can cool your home down faster and maintain temperature better than a machine that’s clogged with dirt and debris. Experts recommend cleaning and maintaining units every six months.
If you’re using a traditional freezer, make sure you defrost it regularly and keep it at its most energy efficient setting.
Ironing, laundry, vacuuming and other chores should be done in the evening so you don’t use energy during peak hours. You’ll pay less money for the same amount of electricity, just by shifting your schedule.
It takes a lot of energy to heat water, and you often don’t need it, especially when you’re washing your clothes. 90 percent of the average washing machine’s total energy output goes to heating water. Most clothes and linens can be effectively washed in cold water, and a quick spin in the dryer will kill any germs.
Controlling your home from your mobile phone, tablet or PC (or wherever you are, thanks to the cloud) is a great way to save on energy. You can turn off the TV or lights from another room, or even while you’re at work!
Old televisions, air-conditioning units, and even washers and dryers consume more electricity than new ones. Consider purchasing new appliances that are Energy Star certified, and think twice before buying your appliances second-hand.
Eating together reduces the need for reheating in the oven or microwave, and means you only need to use power in the dining room for one meal. As an added bonus, your family gets to spend more time together!
Running an efficient household goes hand-in-hand with energy savings. Proper planning and scheduling helps you to be different from the majority of Americans who unknowingly throw away money every year in wasted electricity. Simple activities like unplugging devices and appliances can be a start to a lifetime of energy-saving habits to take you beyond 2016.
Latest news, feature updates, and exclusive discounts.