8 Easy Tips for Saving Energy (and Money!) at Home
Saving energy is good for the environment, but it also makes good financial sense. Why waste money on electricity for no reason? Here are 8 excellent tips for saving money on electricity, and they’re all easy to put in practice.
1. Choose Energy Efficient Appliances
Always look for the ENERGY STAR label when you buy an air conditioner, TV, refrigerator, microwave, washing machine or stove. Did you know that modern energy-efficient fridges actually use less electricity than some light bulbs?
2. Use Compact Fluorescent Lamps in Every Light Fixture
Most people have already done this, but it bears repeating simply because of how much money it saves. Switching traditional light bulbs with CFLs makes financial sense. You get the same amount of light with much less energy consumption. Energy-efficient bulbs reduce lighting costs by a whopping 75%! That translates into savings of around $200 a year.
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3. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat Already
I know that it sounds weird for this “old” dad to be telling you youngsters that it’s time to upgrade your technology, but I’m doing it anyway. Programmable thermostats are simply that amazing when it comes to saving money. These devices let you adapt your home’s temperature throughout the day to maximize energy savings. Why heat or cool the house to 78 degrees if you’re at the office? Smart thermostats turn the HVAC on while you’re driving home.
4. Say “No” to Steamy Showers
For every 10 degrees you lower the maximum heat on your water heater, you save up to 5% in energy costs. Reduce the temperature from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 and you can save as much as $20 a year.
5. Don’t Turn Your Home Into a Winter Wonderland
I know how irresistible it is to walk inside on scorching days and find a house that’s refreshingly chilly. If you want to save money on your electricity bill, however, turn the temperature up five or six degrees. Choosing a setting of 78 degrees instead of 72 degrees can save you 10–15% or more on energy every month.
6. Leave the Tropics in the Tropics
Home heating accounts for 40% or more of your energy bill in wintertime. There are two ways to save money when it comes to HVAC units. First, if your heating system is more than 10–15 years old, consider replacing it with an energy efficient model. Second, resist the temptation to make your home feel like a tropical island. Turn down the thermostat a few degrees.
7. Turn Off Your Laptop
I think mobile phones have trained us to keep electronic devices turned on all day long. However, a laptop or PC (even one in sleep mode) consumes electricity. According to the government’s ENERGY STAR website, the average U.S. consumer wastes $100 a year powering devices in low-power mode. Flip off the power strip and use the $100 for something else.
8. Put a Fan in Your Home Office
Fans use much less electricity than air conditioners. If you’re working from home and spending most of the day in your home office, turn down the AC and use a ceiling fan or pedestal fan instead.
Saving $20 here and $50 there may not seem like a ton, but when you add these energy savings together, the total is surprising. Wouldn’t you rather put this money towards a vacation getaway or a new laptop? I would.