Though we would all like to save money in any way that we can, we all have some energy-wasting habits when it comes to the use of electricity increasing our bills. In the United States, the average household can spend over $2,000 annually on their utility bills, which means that every penny counts. However, if you break some of those bad habits, it is possible to lower the amount of bills you’re paying by up to 25%.
If you are looking for some energy-saving tips, you do not need to look any further. Compiled below is a comprehensive list that details ways energy is wasted and some energy-wasting habits that can be fixed.
As you go from room to room, it is very common to leave the lights on and go about your day. The good news is that this is one of the easiest habits to break. You can either simply remain mindful of where you turned on the lights and where you plan on staying the longest, or get some external help.
The external help can come in the form of various timers and dimmers that will work in conjunction with the light switch. If you know you will only be in a room for a couple of minutes, for example, in the basement or the bathroom, you can set a timer on the light that will turn them off once the timer runs out. Some lights work remotely, allowing you to turn the light off once you’ve reached another room. This option can come in very handy if you find yourself unable to get up and turn off a light you may have forgotten to earlier.
When you look at it on a smaller scale, browsing the fridge doesn’t seem like a big deal, but people spend roughly 10 hours a year staring at their fridge. You know the feeling – when you open the fridge over and over again, hoping to find something new. That is a habit that causes the fridge to start to drain more power in an attempt to keep the inside cold to the temperature that you’ve preset.
Breaking the habit is a practice in mindfulness as you have to stay aware of the last time that you’ve opened either the fridge or the freezer. You can take an additional step by making a list of the contents of either or when you go shopping and cross them off as you use them. Not only will that help when it comes to grocery shopping, but it will also tell you what’s inside without opening the door.
The average dishwasher nowadays runs around 1,800 watts of electricity, which equates to over $50 a year if you are running a wash daily, and those are even for the energy-efficient ones. Cut down on the energy usage and the ultimate price, by running it to its full capacity. It’s easy to get into the habit of putting in the few dishes at once and running it, but the best rule of thumb is to wait until it’s completely full. In this manner, you will also end up saving some water usage by washing as many dishes as possible all at once.
Change the way that you wash your clothes. Most of us use the hot water setting to wash some of our loads, but most items can be washed in water hovering around thirty degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, there are times you will need to use the warm or hot water cycle, but even if you wash just most of your loads cold, it can cut down on half the energy that is used during each cycle.
Around half of the energy that is used by your home focuses on heating and cooling. The habit of leaving the air conditioning or the heating on all day is one that would need some forethought but should be broken if you’d like to save money on your bill.
The best way to save some money on energy consumption is through the use of a programmable thermostat, though a smart thermostat will be even better. A programmable thermostat will help you preset times that you may be out of the house, and the air conditioning or heating doesn’t need to keep working. If you purchase a smart thermostat, which in price may not be that different, it will also learn from your temperature preferences, keeping the home the way you like it without using too much energy.
Even if any device or appliance is turned off, it will continue to draw energy so long as it remains plugged into the outlet. The tip for saving energy is not just to turn them off but also to unplug anything that does not need continuous power, such as a refrigerator. If you do not want the hassle of unplugging every device separately, there are surge protectors that come with an on and off switch to make the process easier. Some switches will also control the power delivery to an outlet, which can make it easier to control appliances.
Much like any appliance, an HVAC system works best when it’s clean and well maintained. Changing out the air filters on a schedule is one of the easiest things to forget. It is best to establish the habit of changing them out at least once every three months, so ensure that it doesn’t have a chance to get clogged up. A clogged up air filter means that the HVAC system has to work harder in order to pull in air. Therefore, it ends up using more energy.