The best ways to save energy at home
Are you trying to save energy at home, and wondering how to do it? Whether you’re doing your part to lower your footprint and combat climate change or want to save money by reducing your utilities, there are numerous places you can make simple tweaks to save energy at home.
Even incremental improvements in usage will lead to substantial energy savings over time. Look for small, actionable changes that will add up to save energy and cut back your utility bills.
Replace your bulbs with LEDs
While they cost more upfront, LED bulbs produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they generate considerably less heat than incandescent bulbs, so you’ll save energy cooling your home, too.
To effectively transition to all LED bulbs, take inventory of the light bulbs in your home. How many of your bulbs are incandescents? Note the bulb shapes and styles you need, and then replace them with the appropriate LED alternative to immediately start saving energy.
Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
One of the easiest ways to go green is to replace energy-sucking appliances with energy-conscious models. Your refrigerator, dishwasher and washer and dryer use the most energy of all your appliances, so focus on these high-energy appliances to save energy.
To pick the most energy-efficient appliances, look for an Energy Star label. Energy Star products are certified by the Department of Energy to save up to 50% more energy.
Cut energy usage and stay comfortable with a smart thermostat
You can program smart thermostats to heat and cool your home according to your schedule. This reduces HVAC usage when you’re away, saving you money. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you can save up to $180 a year without having to remember to adjust your thermostat every time you leave.
To save energy using a smart thermostat, use the built-in energy-saving functions in your smart thermostat model. Some models generate usage reports to let you know when you’re using the most energy and where you can cut back. An example is raising the temperature in your bedroom by one degree during summer nights or turning down the heat when you’re at work during the winter.
Change your furnace filter
Changing the air filter in a furnace can save you up to 15% on your HVAC bill. Clogged or dirty filters block airflow and require your HVAC system to work harder, rendering them inefficient. Clean filters also create much better air quality and are better for your lungs.
Changing a filter is a simple task. Change your filter at least once every three months, depending on the type of filter you have and how dusty your home is. Check your filter often to see if it looks grey or dusty, as this is an indication it’s time to change it. If you or someone in your household experiences allergies triggered by dust, it’s a good idea to pay special attention to your filter and change it even more often.
Use fans strategically
Fans can help save energy and cut down your electric bill by working in conjunction with your HVAC system.
Air conditioners tend to be the most significant energy user in a home, so anything you can do to lower your dependency on your HVAC will save energy. A fan is relatively inexpensive and uses a fraction of the power as an HVAC system.
In the early morning, late evening and at night, try opening your windows and running your ceiling fan or a window fan to circulate air into your home. While fans don’t lower the temperature in your home on their own, they can circulate cool air into your space from outside and banish stagnant air from your space.
If you must use your air conditioner, try turning your thermostat up a couple of degrees in the summer and allowing a fan to work in concert with your AC to move cool air around your home and make your space feel cooler. This small change will use significantly less energy than simply running your AC at full blast.
Identify the energy vampires in your household
Many appliances like televisions, digital clocks, blenders, coffee makers and computers are often guilty of using energy even when turned off or in standby mode, which means your appliances could be sucking up power when you’re asleep or not home. Energy wasted in the form may account for up to 10% of your energy consumption.
Common offenders include lamps, wall chargers, coffee makers, toasters, game consoles and printers.
You can easily stop vampire energy users from wasting energy and money by unplugging your appliances before going to bed or leaving home for long periods.
If you find it’s inefficient or too difficult to remember to unplug your appliances whenever you aren’t using them, you can also easily solve this problem by purchasing a smart power strip. This option turns off multiple electronics simultaneously either at assigned times or whenever they aren’t in use.
Spend time outside
Time spent outside is not only great for your physical and mental health, but also saves energy. Any time you’re outdoors is time you aren’t at home cranking the AC and running electronics, creating energy and cost savings.
What you need to buy to save energy at home
An easy and convenient way to save energy, this thermostat is compatible with many smart devices and is considered highly user-friendly. It possesses the ability to learn your schedule, create algorithms to cut energy usage and deliver a usage report so you can strategize how to save energy.
Save energy by using this fan in conjunction with your HVAC to banish hot, stagnant air, circulate cool air and make your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the price of running AC alone. You can also run this fan with your heat in the winter to save heating energy consumption and costs.
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If you have cracks or gaps under your exterior doors, temperature-treated air is escaping and wasting energy. Weatherstripping is an easy and budget-friendly way to address the problem by improving your home’s insulation. Seal all doors that lead to the outside to ensure you don’t have any drafts and consume less energy.
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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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