The subject of saving electricity is becoming bigger and bigger each day due to extraordinary energy bills caused by rapid changes in lifestyles. People want to make their homes as comfortable, entertaining and aesthetic as possible by installing heating and cooling systems, buying heavy appliances and fitting lighting systems that suck up a lot of energy. With the rising costs and shrinking economy more and more people are acting responsible and searching for reasonable ways to save electricity.
Each day you take a step to save electricity, it translates to more money in your bank account. Also, lower energy bills means lower electricity consumption, which is good for your health and the environment since fewer greenhouses gasses are emitted to the atmosphere. Although many people have shifted to renewable sources such as solar power, there are other electricity saving tips too which will help you to conserve power. The advantage to electricity saving is you don’t need total overhaul of your home to make it highly energy efficient. There are small yet effective steps you can take to save electricity at home:
- Make use of natural light
Making use of natural light during the day has the potential to save you up to $9 per day. A single, strategically located window has the capability to illuminate 20 to 100 times its area. Besides saving you money, natural light enhances the aesthetic value of your room.
- Replace old appliances
Large household appliances such as refrigerators and dryers are big consumers of electricity in any home. Make a point to replace old, inefficient ones with the latest models that come along with the Energy Star approval. Replacing an old dryer with the latest energy efficient version can save you up to $130 each year. Equally, replacing an inefficient refrigerator can save you up to $65 each year.
- Unplug any electrical gadget
Some gadgets like computer printer and gaming systems consume electricity even when they are inactive. In fact, these kinds of electronics contribute to 10% of energy consumption. You can take advantage of a power strip with a switch to help you turn off numerous devices at a go.
- Initial complete makeover to your water heater
Ensure to reset your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, cover it using an insulating blanket. Bringing down the temperature and insulating the hot water heater can lead to significant energy savings of up to 15% each year. Also, occasionally inspect the water heater for leaks.
- Apply caulking
Caulk is a waterproof filler and sealant utilized in building works and repair. Caulking results in the formation of a flexible seal around door frames and windows. Caulking is an economical electricity saving measure. The return on investment would be realized within a year.
- Consider installing a digital thermostat
When at home, find time to install and program your digital thermostat to ensure electricity efficiency. Resetting the temperature by 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit when not in the house can save your electricity bills by up to 10% each year.
- Schedule an HVAC inspection
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about half of homes electricity is channeled to heating and cooling. So it’s sensible to hire an expert technician to inspect you air conditioning, home’s furnace and ventilation (HVAC) to make sure they are working at peak efficiency. This inspection will cost you about $100 on the higher side, but the amount you’ll save per year will be astronomical.
- Make a point to seal and insulate ducts
Ensuring that every ductwork in your home is sufficiently sealed and insulated can lead to remarkable energy savings of up to 20% each year. Also, make a point to regularly repair air filters to ensure air moves flawlessly through the ducts, which mitigates the HVAC system from working more than it should.
- Join the solar panel revolution
Installing solar panels is expensive, so it might not represent an economical option to some. However, solar panels offer the greatest possibilities for saving energy. Traditional forms of electricity can be expensive, especially when used to power heating and cooling systems. Solar power will take up those big energy consuming tasks since its abundant and cheap.
- Install a windmill
Well, this might sound like searching for a needle in a haystack, but if you’re actually capable of installing this, you could save up a big part of your electricity cost. To add to that, it perfectly good for the environment.
- Minimize TV watching time
Most people, especially kids, are addicted to watching TV. This can lead to a bad routine where the TV is left on the whole day. Minimize TV watching by refocusing kids on other creative activities like reading interesting books or engaging them in light house chores.
- Initiate weather-stripping
Weather-stripping is the act of sealing openings like windows, trunks, and doors from external elements. This process keeps drafts at bay, hence, dialing back on your heating and cooling costs, while maintaining the required temperature inside your house to guarantee comfort.
- Change up incandescent light
Lighting takes up 11% of an average household’s energy budget. Conventional incandescent lights convert just about 10% of the energy they consume into light. The rest becomes heat. Changing up to light emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can minimize the energy required for lighting by 50%.
- Invest in a tankless water heater
Tankless or Instantaneous water heaters provide only the required amount of hot water. They don’t generate the standby energy losses linked to the conventional water heaters. Tankless water heaters conserve energy by heating water directly without needing a storage tank. They also save you time as you don’t have to wait for the storage tank to fill up with sufficient water.
- Use a laptop instead of desktop
An old desktop computer consumes way more energy than a laptop. If you’re still using an old desktop, consider recycling it and buy yourself a new generation laptop. Using a laptop for an average of two hours each day has the potential to save you up to $11 each year.
- Ditch that old TV
Donate or recycle your old TV that consumes as much as $8 bucks per year. Buy the new generation LED TV that is highly energy efficient.
- Turn off fans
If your air conditioner is in operation, there is no point of turning on the fans.
- Change your laundry habits
Avoid using the medium setting on your washer. Just be patient until you have enough clothes since the medium setting is only capable of saving less than half of energy and water utilized for a full load.
If clothes are not very soiled, desist from applying the high-temperature setting. Water at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit uses a lot of energy than 104 degrees Fahrenheit for warm water setting. Also, 140 degrees Fahrenheit is less effective in getting clothes perfectly clean.
- Hang clothes instead of using a dryer
Hanging clothes alleviates the needs for a drier, which consumes a lot of electricity and emits heat.
- Cook efficiently
A vast amount of energy is always thrown into cooking. Consider the following recommendations to minimize cooking costs:
- Use convection ovens instead of conventional ovens since they are more energy efficient.
- Microwave ovens use a lot less energy (80% less) than conventional ovens.
- Utilize pressure cookers; they minimize cooking time dramatically.
- Always ensure to use lids on pots and pans as they enable faster heating of food compared to cooking in an open pot or pan.
- Leverage off-peak rates
Most companies have scheduled off-peak rates that you can take advantage of to run your heavy appliances like dishwasher, HVAC system, electric ovens, freezers and so on.