Every year, millions of Americans consume billions of kilowatt hours of energy, provided through a variety of different energy producing means: hydroelectric power, nuclear power, natural gas power, coal power and geothermal power. But it all comes at a high cost to consumers. No matter where you may live, electricity is a major cost in your home – and the best way to reduce your costs is through reducing your electrical energy use. Today, I’m going to share some with you five ways to save electricity.
1) Watch the hot water. One of the largest energy users in your home is your hot water tank. It provides the water to clean your dishes, your laundry and your bodies. The problem is that many hot water heaters hold gallons and gallons of water in a large tank. They heat the water to a certain temperature, then switch “off” until the water temperature inside the tank falls below a certain temperature, at which time they heat the contained water up again. This is inefficient
If you can, get an instant water heater for your home. These small units provide hot water as you need it, and often fit in a much smaller space than your traditional hot water heater. Not only will you reduce your electrical need as you won’t be heating water that you aren’t using, you’ll also save money.
If, however, you cannot make the switch to an instant hot water heater yet, turning the temperature down on your hot water heater is one of several ways to save energy.
2) Mind your appliances. Home appliances are other major energy consumers in your home. These everyday items that we take for granted, such as our refrigerator, stove, microwave, freezer, washer and dryer, all use a lot of electricity. To save electricity, whenever you can, dry your clothes on a clothes line. If you live in an area that is very damp, use the dryer, but as much as possible, do it without using heat.
3) Think about compact fluorescent and LED lights. Switching to compact fluorescent or light emitting diode (LED) lights to illuminate your home is another great way to save electricity. These types of lights provide powerful, long lasting lighting solutions that save electricity and money. While the bulbs cost more to start, they usually last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and you end up saving many times the cost of the bulb over its lifespan.
4) Slay the vampires! Vampires are real – energy vampires, that is. Many of our convenience and leisure equipment are energy vampires. Limit how much electricity your game system, your DVD player, your DVR or digital television eat up every day. Learn to unplug any appliance when you’re done using it or use a smart power bar which recognizes when your devices have been off for a long time and actually turns the whole system OFF. Otherwise, your equipment will continue to draw power even when you have turned them off. As a rule, if it has a remote, it is always ON – unless you either unplug it or use a smart power bar.
5) Use your property to your advantage. Learn how to use your home’s features to help you save electricity on heating and cooling. If your property allows it, plant windbreaks to prevent heat loss in winter and to keep the home cooler in summer. Open blinds and curtains on sunny days in winter, close them on sunny days in summer. If you don’t have a forced air system to heat or cool your home, use fans to keep the air in motion, as air in motion feels cooler than still air. If you do have a home heating and cooling system, set your everyday temperature lower in winter and warmer in summer. And regular maintenance of your heating and cooling system keeps your system running effectively, reducing the wear and tear on your system and how much electricity you need to keep your home comfortable.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to become more energy efficient. All it takes is time and practice to learn ways to save electricity. The more you practice it, the more electricity you will save, and the more money too!
Here are even more ways to save energy: