Energy vampire waste includes those small leaks of electricity in your home that are easily avoided. They add up fast, and if you don’t plug the leaks, it’s hard to reduce electricity consumption and cut your monthly utility bill. The good news is that, by following a few tips, you can save energy, make your home more efficient, and pocket some extra money.

Below are some of the most common ways homeowners inadvertently waste money and end up paying too much to the electric company when the bill arrives. These energy savings tips even work for those on prepaid electricity plans.

A few of the easiest ways to save on electricity include the following:

  • Use power strips
  • Regularly replace filters in air-conditioning and heating units
  • Turn computers off when you’re not using them
  • Install a smart thermostat

You can cut overall power usage by a significant amount if you use most or all of these save electricity tips. If your goal is to save energy in your own home or put a major energy conservation effort into place for years to come, it’s important to take action and let everyone in your home know about your plan to save electricity.

How to Stop Energy Vampires and Reduce Electricity Consumption

Fortunately, there are more than one or two ways to stop energy vampires in your home.

Hang Your Laundry to Dry

A lot of backyards go to waste when we don’t use them for energy-saving purposes. If you forego using your dryer a few times each week, you can reduce energy usage by a lot. Simply put up a pair of laundry poles in the yard, get a bag of clothespins, and hang your items on the line for a few hours. Not only will clothes dry nearly as fast as they do in the machine, they’ll smell much better when infused with outdoor air.

Turn Off Unused Computers

Desktop computers are major gobblers of electricity. Even if you’re a heavy user of your PC, make sure you turn the unit off when you are not actively using it. Consider taking advantage of your PC’s energy-saving mode, which will essentially shut down the device after a set amount of time. That way, if you forget to shut it off, you have a backup system in place.

Use Your Windows During the Warm Months

Unless it’s blistering hot outside, a hassle-free way to chop a few dollars off your utility bill is to open the windows. On most summer days, you can avoid using your AC unit and still be quite comfortable. It’s also a fact that fresh air is better for the lungs than recycled indoor air. Open windows in different parts of the house to get across-ventilation effect.

Use Power Strips

These handy, inexpensive, and easy-to-use items are an effective weapon in the war against energy vampires. Think about putting one in each room of your home and switching them to the “off” position each evening or whenever you leave a particular room. You can save big by using strips in kitchens and entertainment rooms, which typically consume the most electrical power in a home.

Don’t Let Your Refrigerator Get Too Barren

Improve a refrigerator’s efficiency by keeping it full. That’s because all the stuff you put in your frig retains the cold better than empty space does. A full frig typically doesn’t lose its coldness even when doors are repeatedly opened and shut during meal preparation.

Be “Light Bulb” Smart

Technology has advanced to the point that we now have several options when purchasing light bulbs. You can chop a portion of your monthly utility bill just by swapping out those old lights for newer, more efficient ones. The LED versions are great power-misers, as are CFLs. Both are cost-efficient, too, because they last much longer than old-style, incandescent bulbs.

Opt for Laptops When Possible

If you only use your computer occasionally, or don’t need all the bells and whistles that most desktop models come with, think about switching to a laptop. The big win here for homeowners is that laptops use much less energy than desk versions and are easily transportable. Plus, many of the newer brands of laptops offer just as much memory as their desk-bound counterparts.

Use a Smart Thermostat

A $15 investment can save you a boatload of money. Buying and using a smart thermostat can turn any home into an energy-saving abode. These clever little gizmos do it all, and they’re easy to install. You have the option to program the device according to your personal preferences. A smart thermostat can adjust your home’s temperature levels based on changes in outdoor temperature, for example.

Shut Off Lights in Empty Rooms

One of the oldest, and simplest, ways to cut electricity costs is to turn off lights when you exit a room. Drive down any street in your neighborhood in the evening, and you’re likely to see dozens of homes with lighted, empty rooms. All that energy is going to waste. If you have trouble remembering, put a sticky note on the switch by the door in each room to jog your memory.

Avoid Over-Using Chargers

The chargers we use for refilling batteries on phones and many other devices are convenient. There’s one problem, though. They gobble up energy when you leave devices plugged in after batteries are full. In addition to safety concerns about certain types of batteries that are prone to overheat, it just makes good energy sense to unplug chargers as soon as they’ve done their jobs.

Learn the Art of “Unplugging”

Walk around your home and identify devices and appliances that you can unplug. If you are like most homeowners, you’ll be surprised at how many there are. Prime candidates for unplugging, when not in use, are toasters, garbage disposals, dish washers, can openers, blenders, coffee machines, radios, and alarm clocks. The kitchen isn’t always the main area where these voltage-gobblers reside. Check the garage for larger devices like drills, trash compactors, large overhead lights that are rarely used, and other culprits.

Install HVAC Filters

Clean filters help heating and air-conditioning units run efficiently. Always follow directions in the manuals, but a good default guideline is to replace filters in HVAC units at least four times per year. Not only will the appliances use less electricity but your indoor air will smell clean and fresh.

Use Electric Blankets

An alternative to heaters during cold winter nights is an electric blanket. A high-quality product used in the right way can reduce monthly utility bills during the cold months. Logic wins out on this one: Why heat your entire home while you sleep? All you need is a reliable electric blanket to keep warm until morning arrives. By then, outside temperatures are usually rising, which means you won’t need to run the heater as much anyway.

Install a Few Solar Panels

Consider putting solar panels on your roof or in the backyard. They generally deliver enough voltage to power several exterior lights on your home. Going solar, even in a small way, is an effective strategy for reducing your overall energy consumption.

Check Insulation Twice Per Year

Insulation doesn’t last forever. That’s why you can do your home a favor by inspecting all visible insulation in attics, basements, and elsewhere. If you can’t remember how long it has been in place, then it’s probably time to upgrade and replace it. Ask a reputable home improvement company to do a full-scale inspection of your home’s insulation.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to be an electrician or electrical engineer to reduce energy waste. Just remember three things about conservation, and you’ll be on the right track:

  • Make a written plan about how you will reduce energy use
  • Post the list in a place where all people in your home can see it
  • Start out small and add new energy-saving techniques every so often

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t put all the suggestions into practice immediately. Start small and try out a few of the different ways to save electricity bill expenses a little at a time. Eventually, you’ll see how effective the methods are and will want to employ even more strategies to save electricity. Keep a positive attitude and keep working at the overall goal of energy conservation. In the long run, you’ll save a lot of money and live a better life.