20 Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home
When the weather begins to get colder, home energy bills tend to increase. Luckily, there are a lot of little things that you can do to save energy at home. Reducing home energy use lower your utility bills and saves the earth at the same time. This is something that you can do all throughout the year but it's especially good for reducing your energy costs during the winter months when those bills can get unmanageable.
Start making changes by doing the following 20 things:
1. Switch to LED lights. These lights are even better than the popular CFL lights when it comes to saving energy. They do require a small upfront investment but will offer long-term savings for years to come. They aren't right for every part of the home but can be a smart move in many of your rooms.
2. Use task lighting. Ambient lighting (the lighting that lights up an entire room) is wasteful if you only need enough light to sew or read. Use task lighting (table lamps and desk lamps) instead whenever possible. You'll save money and your home will be cozier too!
3. Clean your dimmable light fixtures. If you keep them clean then they appear to be brighter and you don’t need to use the higher levels of lighting. You can use the dimmest setting and still have enough light. What a quick and easy way to start saving money on your energy bills!
4. Wash clothes in cold water. Heating up water uses electricity. You’ll want hot water for your showers this winter but can save money by using cold water only in the washing machine. This is a really smart money-saving move to use all year long.
5. Shorten your showers by five minutes. Even though you want to enjoy those hot showers, you shouldn’t waste that water and heat in your home. If you shorten your showers by just five minutes you’ll see savings when the electricity and water bills come.
7. Use the programmable thermostat. You shouldn’t keep the heater running all day and all night. Use it only as needed by setting it on a programmable thermostat to kick in only as needed.
8. Wear sweaters and use blankets. Keeping yourself warm in the house will allow you to comfortably set that programmable thermostat to a lower temperature in order to save energy at home.
9. Get outside a few times per day. The longer that you stay inside the house, the more you become acclimated to the temperature. You start to feel cooler and then you turn up the heat. If you get outside for some quick errands and exercise a few times a day then your house will feel warmer when you get back in.
10. Clean it out. You need to keep your radiators, baseboard heaters and heater filters clean if you want them to work efficiently and not waste energy. Clean them now and clean them about once per month throughout the winter.
11. Keep the drapes open. You want to keep the drapes on your south-facing windows open during the day. This allows the maximum amount of natural heat to warm your home. Close the drapes at night to keep that heat inside. Additionally, keeping drapes open allows you to use natural lighting instead of wasting home lighting systems.
12. Check for leaks. You need to make sure that your windows are caulked and your hot air isn’t escaping into the outdoors. You don’t want to pay to heat up the outside this winter!
13. Check the settings on your refrigerator. Typically you want to have your refrigerator set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer set at zero. This is generally the most energy-efficient option.
14. Consider candles and fireplaces for evening lighting. This is especially nice in the winter because it adds an ambience of warmth to the room. You’ll need less heat and less light at the same time.
15. Close your fireplace damper. When you aren’t using the fireplace, make sure that you close the damper. If you don’t then your home’s heat is escaping out through the fireplace and costing you money.
16. Turn off and unplug items that aren’t in use. Don’t leave your appliances plugged in. Don’t leave your phone on the charger longer than necessary. Turn your computer off when you aren’t using it. These little things can add up to big savings over the long run.
17. Use a microwave instead of an oven but an oven instead of a stovetop. If you’re just reheating food then use the microwave because it uses significantly less energy than the oven does. If you’re cooking a meal, though, cook it in the oven rather than on a stovetop in order to save money. Turn home heating down when cooking since the oven will help warm the house.
18. Use a rake not a leaf blower for those autumn leaves. As the leaves begin to fall off of the trees you may get tempted to get out the leaf blower. Don’t waste that energy. Use your own energy to rake those leaves up instead.
19. Add new insulation to your home. If your home feels like it’s always cold then it may need better insulation. It’s worth the investment if this is something that the house needs.
20. Switch outdoor lights to motion lights. As the days get shorter, outdoor lights get left on longer. Switch over to motion lights so that you don’t waste money but do still keep your home safe.