If you’re looking for ways to conserve energy around the house, it can be hard to even know where to begin. While there are plenty of larger improvements you can do to make your home more energy efficient, such as getting new vinyl replacement windows, adding more insulation, or buying Energy Star appliances, there are lots of little things that can make a big difference, too. Just by making an effort to adopt some energy-saving habits, you’ll be well on your way to making your home a more energy-efficient place.
Turn Off Lights and Ceiling Fans in Unused Rooms
There’s a very good reason why this is one of the most common energy-saving tips you’ll hear -- it really is one of the best ways to cut down on your energy bills. Simply put, when you’re not actually in a room, there’s no reason to be using electricity to light it. Of course, it’s understandable that you might want to leave a light or two on if you know you’ll be coming home late at night, but generally speaking, it’s best to only use lights as needed.
If a room has a ceiling fan, make sure it gets shut off when leaving the room. Since ceiling fans work by improving air circulation, not by actually lowering the temperature of the room, there’s no sense in having it running when there’s nobody there to actually benefit from it.
Unplug Unused Electronics
Many of us are in the habit of leaving our electronics plugged in when we aren’t using them. But whether we realize it or not, these devices tend to consume power even when they aren’t being used. In many cases, things like televisions, DVD players, video game systems, and computers go into a standby mode when you power them down, which makes it possible for them to start up a little bit faster when you want to use them again.
Although standby mode is supposed to be a low-power setting, the cost of keeping several things in standby mode for many hours a day can add up over time. If you want to help reduce your electricity bills in the long run, get in the habit of unplugging your electronic devices when you aren’t using them. If it’s possible to plug all of these devices into one power strip, you can simply switch the power strip off when you aren’t using those things and you’ll kill the power to them all at once.
Minimize Heating Water
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that a large portion of their electrical bills tend to go toward heating water. Water heaters can consume a huge amount of electricity, so anything you can do to reduce that is a great way to start conserving energy. Insulating the tank on your hot water heater will reduce your heating costs by helping to keep your water hotter longer, but there are plenty of other ways you can reduce the costs of heating water.
When you do laundry, use cold water instead of hot and try to only do laundry if you have enough for a full load. If you’re going to run the dishwasher, try to fill it as much as possible first. When you’re cooking on the stove, try to heat only the amount of water you need and make sure you’re using the right size burner for the pot or pan you’re using. And, of course, taking shorter showers are a great way to help!
Adjust Your Thermostat
If you’re looking for ways to conserve energy, one tip you’ll inevitably hear is to adjust your thermostat so you’re not spending as much money to heat or cool your home when you’re not going to be there. This is a great idea and can help significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills, but many people either have a hard time getting into the habit of adjusting the thermostat or don’t bother because they don’t want to come home to a house that’s too cold or too warm. If this is the case for you, adjustable thermostats are the perfect solution!
With an adjustable thermostat, you can just program it to change temperatures at specified times of the day, such as shortly before bed, before you wake up in the morning, when you leave for work, or shortly before you get home. This way, you’ll be able to cut down on your energy bills and never have to worry about coming home to a house that’s too warm or too cold!