Irrespective of the season, energy usage increases somehow adding to our electricity bill. It is impossible to operate without electricity be it using heaters during winter, or air conditioners during summer. Today we are going to share some energy-saving tips which can decrease your ecological footprint and lower your costs.
22 Useful Tips For Saving Energy At Home
1. Switch To Energy Efficient Appliances
Just as the name suggests, these appliances are designed in such a way that they consume minimum energy to complete the same tasks performed by normal appliances. Some of them like solar water heaters even bank on renewable energy sources to reduce your electricity consumption drastically. Switching to energy-efficient appliances might initially seem expensive but they can lower your electricity costs in the long run. Energy Star appliances certified by the U.S. Department of Energy can save 10-50% more energy compared to their peers.
2. Hang Dry Laundry
Electric dryers constitute 5% of a household’s typical electricity usage. You can bring it down by hanging dry laundry on an indoor drying rack or an outdoor clothesline.
3. Bank On Smart Technology
Automated homes are becoming the need of the hour as IoT is taking over the world rapidly. You can take the example of a smart HVAC which can reduce your heating and cooling bills by efficiently using your smart thermostat or smart AC controller. They use features like weekly scheduling, geofencing, or smart modes such as the automated Comfy Mode so that your air conditioner provides maximum comfort while consuming minimum energy. Doing this eliminates wastage while helping homeowners make the most of their air conditioner.
4. Plant Trees In The Right Spots
Thoughtfully positioned trees can reduce your home’s energy consumption by up to 25% yearly. You can plant deciduous shade trees on the south and west sides of your home to shade your walls and windows from the hot summer sun. Doing this will lower the air temperature around your home so that much pressure isn’t inflicted on your air conditioner. Shrubs or dense evergreen trees planted in the north can reduce heating costs by keeping you shielded against biting winter winds.
5. Maintain A Consistent Temperature
The first thing we do after returning home on a sunny day or while the temperature reaches the freezing point at night is blast the cooling or heating on full throttle. However, this consumes more energy as your unit will have to work harder coupled with higher ac settings. Ideally, you should maintain a consistent room temperature depending on the situation. When you are away, your home can be a few degrees higher than the regular home temperature. Doing this will keep your home well-conditioned and also save energy. It becomes easy to maintain a constant temperature utilizing intelligent triggers.
6. Insulate Your House
Insulation can have a big role to play in keeping the utility bills down by retaining heat during winter and keeping it out of your home during summer. The “R-value” or recommended level of heat resistance for your insulation depends on where you reside. In warmer climates, it is lower than for buildings located in colder areas. You can add insulation to your walls, attic, basement, floor, and crawlspace.
7. Make Good Use Of Fans
You can save energy during the summer months by using ceiling fans. They can keep you comfortable although fans aren’t effective in lowering the surrounding air temperature. Since portable or ceiling fans consume less energy than an air conditioner, they are a top choice of homeowners on the lookout to reduce their electricity bills. However, when it gets unbearably hot, an AC might offer you respite. You can keep the thermostat or AC setting on low and combine it with fans to circulate air throughout your room. When using a fan. You can raise your thermostat or AC’s temperature by 4 degrees. Doing this takes the load off your air conditioner without sacrificing comfort.
8. Set Your Air Conditioner In The Best Location
The location of your AC is an important point to consider while installing. The efficiency of your system might be greatly reduced if your air conditioner’s outdoor unit is located in a place that gets direct sunlight. This will cause your AC to work harder and drain more energy to deliver the required cooling. Ideally, the AC’s condenser should be situated under a shade with adequate space to dispose of the heat. Wisely choosing the location will add to the efficiency of your system alongside your savings.
9. Maintain Your HVAC Unit
Proper HVAC maintenance is an important energy-saving tip be it on a routine or seasonal basis. The condition of your heating or air conditioning system has a big role to play in determining energy efficiency during the summer and winter seasons. Blockages like an unclean air filter can cause your unit to work harder leading to greater energy consumption. Regular HVAC maintenance can keep you buffered from the hassle of expensive repairs. You can steer clear of HVAC problems by keeping an eye on the warning signs and taking preventive measures.
10. Wash Clothes & Dishes On Full Loads
Dishwashing and laundry are some of the unavoidable chores of life. However, the energy consumption of your household increases coupled with the increasing frequency of these tasks. Household appliances are designed in such a manner that they can run efficiently with full loads. Otherwise, you will simply end up wasting water and energy from running them too often.
11. Switch To CFL & LED
If you have been still using halogen or incandescent bulbs, then it is high time to switch to CFL or LED ones. Doing this brings down energy consumption while adding to longevity. Both incandescent and halogen bulbs are infamous for emitting more heat than LED bulbs leading to increased temperature and energy wastage. LEDs with an Energy Star rating last 15 times longer and reduce energy use by 90%.
12. Get Smart Home Assistants
You can save energy on household appliances with the aid of smart home assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. They allow setting timers or schedules on your appliances to turn them off after a certain period. Various appliances can also be linked together like an AC and a smart fan for greater energy efficiency. In case of a malfunction, you will get important alerts to prevent energy wastage.
13. Unplug Devices When Not In Use
Leaving devices plugged at all times can cause energy wastage while shortening their lives drastically. This is also known as vampire energy consumption. Often devices such as laptops are accompanied by an indicator light that points to when you are needlessly burning power. You should also unplug your battery chargers when the devices get fully charged as chargers tend to draw power continuously.
14. Keep Your Refrigerator Door Closed
We tend of keeping our refrigerator door ajar while moving things around and taking time to choose among snack options. However, the longer you keep the refrigerator door open, the greater are the chances of energy wastage as the refrigerator will now have to work harder to keep the items cool. A good amount of cool air escapes every time you open the fridge door. Thus, it is advisable to decide in advance what you need and select the items within the shortest span during the summer months.
15. Use As Less Appliances As Possible
It is always better to switch to traditional means whenever possible. You can swap electric water heaters with a hot water bottle while taking a quick shower. Similarly, you can switch to light clothing during the summer months to keep yourself comfortable and save energy.
16. Keep Your Appliances Clean
While we clean food splashes and visible dust from our appliances, it is essential to open them up once in a while to take the lint out completely. Doing this ensures there aren’t any blockages and thus your device works in excellent condition. Apart from being healthy, this also removes major load from your appliances to reduce energy use.
17. Seal Your Doors & Windows
Crevices and gaps in your doors and windows will lead to loss of cool air during summer and warm air during winter. This will also increase the chances of the outside air finding its way inside so that it becomes harder for your heating or cooling system to run. Ultimately, it becomes more tasking for the devices to reach their desired temperature. Sealing the leaps, gaps, and cracks and adding insulation can reduce your utility bills by 10%.
18. Go For Energy-Efficient Windows
Heat gain through windows becomes a pertinent problem in warmer regions. Similarly, in colder areas, a big source of energy wastage is heat loss through the windows. You can replace the single-pane windows with double panes in colder regions to preserve the heat and bring down your energy bills by 24% during winter. Gas-filled windows with ‘low-e’ can keep your house cooler during summer by reflecting certain sections of sunlight.
19. Utilise Natural Sunlight & Air
You might greatly miss out on the natural warmth of the sun if you keep the curtains shut during the cold yet sunny winter. It is important to keep note of the weather conditions and adjust your curtains and windows accordingly so that nature can perform its job of taking over the heating and cooling of your house. You should use the natural light by switching the light off when it’s sunny.
20. Cook Outdoors When It’s Hot
Cooking complicated dishes releases a lot of heat thus putting a strain on your home’s cooling. It is better to cook such dishes outside. This can also help you enjoy fresh outdoor air while saving energy. For indoor cooking, you can use a hood or exhaust fan to suck the released hot air.
21. Save Water
Water is a major necessity be it for washing clothes, taking baths, cleaning dishes or the house and cars. However, you should exercise caution while using water to prevent energy wastage. You can scrape dishes rather than rinse them before putting them in the dishwasher. Similarly, you can take a quick shower rather than a prolonged bath. It is also important to look out for signs of leakage as a single faucet dripping hot water can waste approximately 1661 gallons of water yearly.
22. Get A Smart Power Strip
Electric appliances use small amounts of power even when not in use. This is known as Phantom Load and can account for $200 of your annual energy consumption. You can remove this problem by using a smart power strip as it automatically turns off the device when there is no power load on it. You can also get to turn off the power strip at pre-set times or set up schedules like when you go to bed.
- Before turning up the heater’s temperature during autumn and winter, put on a sweater and some thick socks.
- Put down the blinds throughout the day and keep the windows open at night rather than turning on the AC during winter.
- Use a desk lamp while working at your desk as a room lamp consumes more energy.
- Devices use more energy on standby mode than when they are turned off. Try and turn off your devices when not in use.
- Never place the fridge next to a heat radiating device such as a microwave as this will cause them to use more energy for cooling.
- Defrost ice in your freezer as it makes it more difficult for the freezer to cool.
- Cook with residual heat at the stove as it remains hot long after being turned off.
- Use a lidded pan for cooking as this keeps the heat inside and cooks the meals faster.
- Opt for a kettle rather than placing a pan on the stove while heating water as the former requires less energy than the latter.
- Too hot showers can be bad for your skin and also require a lot of energy. Rather opt for short showers with cool water unless you reside in freezing temperatures.
- You can improve the battery power of your mobile phones by turning off the Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS tracker, and data when not needed. Deleting unnecessary photos and applications can also clear the phone storage to reduce energy consumption. You can put the mobile on dark mode for an appealing look and save energy simultaneously. Last but not the least, make sure to reduce the brightness of your phone display to help the battery last longer.
Saving energy is great for your wallet and beneficial for the environment. You control your home and appliances. Thus, the ultimate energy saving depends on your habits. With slight changes in your daily behavior like keeping the lights turned off and ensuring nothing is running needlessly, you can reduce your electric bill to a great extent.