5 Ways to Reduce Your Household Energy Bills
It might be a challenge to develop energy conservation habits in your home, especially if you have a large household. It’s one thing to build new habits for yourself, another thing altogether to try curbing the habits of the rest of the gang. We’ve also grown accustomed to our appliances and electronics. They are like limbs; we seem to need them on and ready to go. But just some simple changes in how we attend to energy drains can help lower monthly bills without sacrificing anyone’s precious leisure time or productivity.
Be Smart About Lights
Simple habits like turning off the light when leaving a room can help. Also, think about savings. If you want to cozy up to a book, turn on a small reading lamp instead of switching on the large overhead light fixture; if you plan to stay up late working on a project, your desk lamp might be enough lighting for your needs. Install energy-saving CFL or LED bulbs, especially for the lights your family and you use the most.
Make a Vacation Plan
If you are going away with the family and no one will be home for several days, make a plan. You can still conserve energy while on vacation. Before leaving the house, unplug anything that doesn’t need power; lower the temperatures on the refrigerator and freezer, and check that all lights are off. You can install timers on some lights to switch on at certain times to deter burglars. If you have a smart thermostat, set it to conserve more energy while you are away.
Be Thrifty With Your Appliances
Wash full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine to maximize power and energy use. Air drying the family’s load of clothes is not time-efficient, but if you have clotheslines in your backyard, that’s another significant way to save energy. You can certainly air dry your dishes with little to no effort. When cooking, don’t leave the stove on and unused for long waiting periods and use smaller appliances for smaller, quicker meals. Buy Energy Star products when it’s time to replace appliances and make sure you’re getting the best energy savings available.
Unplug Unused Electronics
Use power strips for groups of plugs, and then switch off the strip when those electronics are not being used. Use computer power settings that conserve energy, like sleep or hibernate modes.
Let Your HVAC System Be Your Friend
Use your smart thermostat religiously to tailor heating and cooling to your family’s needs and to get the most savings. Take measures to make sure your HVAC system is energy-efficient, like sealing air leaks, closing doors and windows, and performing regular maintenance.
There are lots of simple ways your entire family can get on board to save energy. Make sure you are all on the same page, and are consistent. It is hard to make a new group habit and then keep it going, but the benefits are definitely worth the efforts.