It takes a lot of money to run a home, but you could be spending more money than you really need to. Cutting back on how much energy your home uses can help you shave a huge chunk of money off your monthly utility bills, and it can be a lot easier than you may think. Small changes here and there can really add up to significant savings.
Here are 11 easy ways you can save energy in your home that are good for the environment, and your wallet.
1. Install a tankless water heater.
Having hot water stored on stand-by produces a lot of heat and energy loss. Instead, replace your traditional hot water tank with a tankless water heater that only provides hot water when it’s actually needed, which can save a ton of energy.
2. Turn the temperature of your water heater down.
If you’d prefer to keep your current water heater, consider turning its temperature down to about 120°F. In addition, turn it down even lower when you’re away for a few days.
3. Replace incandescent lights.
Conventional incandescent lightbulbs only convert about 10% of the energy used into light; the rest is lost in heat. Swapping these lights with more innovative LEDs can significantly cut back on energy that’s not being used for lighting purposes. Not only do LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, they also last about 10 times longer.
4. Skip the dishwasher.
The amount of energy dishwashers use to heat the water and dry the dishes is significant. If you can stand it, consider washing the dishes by hand. At the very least, switch off the automatic air-dry after the final rinse and open the door open slightly to help the dishes dry faster.
5. Turn off electronics when not in use.
All of your home’s TVs, computers, and other electronics are wasting energy when they’re left on and not being used. Plug your devices into a smart power strip that uses a lot less energy when they’re in standby mode.
6. Maintain your HVAC system.
Your heating and air conditioning systems should be maintained at least once a year to make sure they’re working optimally and not using up more energy than necessary to operate. About 50% of the energy used in a home comes directly from these HVAC systems, so the more efficiently they function, the less energy will be wasted.
7. Use less water.
Be careful with how much water you use when showering, brushing your teeth, and washing dishes. Shut the water off when not required, and try not to use as much hot water. These measures can help save as much as 50% less water.
8. Insulate your windows and doors.
Windows and doors that allow air leakage account for as much as one-third of energy loss in a home. Seal all these leaks with some caulking, and weatherstrip your windows and doors to prevent even further air loss.
9. Use less water and heat with your laundry.
Little changes that are made when doing the laundry can save a great deal of energy. Don’t do the laundry until you’ve got a full load, and wash each load in cold water to cut back on energy used to heat the water. Once the laundry is done, hang the clothes up to air dry rather than using the dryer.
10. Buy energy-efficient appliances.
If your budget permits and your current appliances are aging, consider replacing them with energy-efficient models that use less energy to operate and use hot water more efficiently.
11. Turn the thermostat down when you’re not home.
Instead of keeping the air conditioner running full blast all day long even when you’re at work, turn it down during daytime hours. Having a programmable thermostat installed can make this job easier for you. It’ll let you set different temperatures for various times of the day so that it will automatically adjust accordingly.