There are many easy ways to save money and electricity every month around your home. And as you will see from the following examples, they don’t all require you to downgrade your lifestyle or make major sacrifices in your everyday life. Some of these energy saving tactics will apply more during hot times of the year or cold times, but most will serve you well all year long.
And keep in mind that many of these energy-saving tips can apply just as well to businesses trying to save money as they do to homeowners.
1. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Your major household appliances use up a lot of electricity year-round, so when it comes time to repair or replace one of them, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. Many manufacturers make refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, washing machines and dryers that meet or exceed EnergyStar guidelines and can save you hundreds of dollars per year in lower energy bills.
2. Eliminate Electricity “Leaks”
Most homeowners are aware of water leaks in their homes such as leaky faucets, cracked garden hoses and poorly sealed pipe fittings in the walls. But your home could also be leaking electricity every day.
A lot of electricity gets wasted needlessly due to so-called “energy leaks”. These could include appliances that draw power 24/7, even when not in use. Other energy leaks could be simple things like leaving the lights turned on in empty rooms or falling asleep with the television on.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to reduce energy leaks without putting a drain on your lifestyle, such as using power strips, timers and motion sensors to cut off these devices when nobody is using them.
3. Improve Your Home’s Insulation
Another factor that drives up your monthly electric bill is the hot or cold air outside making its way into your home. There are two main ways to address this:
- Seal your doors and windows
- Put in better insulation
If your doors or windows are old and have cracks or holes, then go ahead and get those replaced. Double-paned glass windows and sliding doors can add an extra layer of protection to regulate your internal temperature.
If there are any gaps around the perimeter or frame of your doors and windows, then replacing the weatherstripping should seal those off easily. This is actually good DIY project for beginners that will only cost you a few bucks and a few minutes per door/window.
Replacing your insulation can be a big job and will likely require some professional help, not only to get the job done right, but also to ensure compliance with all building codes and regulations. The main question for you to discuss with your chosen contractor will be to decide what type of insulation will work best for your needs and your budget. Common materials include natural fibers, plastics, foam, minerals and fiberglass insulation.
When hiring a contractor, be sure they include air-sealing services in the estimate, since leaks, gaps and cracks in the walls, ceilings and floors should be done prior to putting in the insulation. Some insulation types, such as fiberglass insulation, are installed using techniques that literally blow the materials into place and do an excellent job of sealing off leaks.
4. Properly Use and Maintain Your HVAC System
Your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system can also make or break your power bill every month, especially during the winter or summer seasons. These heating and cooling systems are comprised of many motors and moving parts which are subject to wear and tear and will require ongoing maintenance.
While your HVAC system is designed to last for several years, some individual components can become worn out and create inefficiencies which overload the entire system, wasting energy and causing additional damage. So you do need to be diligent in maintaining or repairing these systems as needed. Many HVAC repair companies in your area offer free inspections of heaters, air conditioners and centralized ventilation systems, so take advantage of those when they are available.
5. Use Green Building Materials
When constructing a new home or adding on to your existing property, using green building materials can also help you save money on construction costs. Here are some examples of commonly-used green building materials:
- Recycled steel and wood
- Reclaimed doors, windows and lumber
- Plant-based polyurethane foam
While you might not see much difference on your own personal utility bill, using building supplies made from recycled or reclaimed materials can save money on construction costs. And you can also save a lot of energy and resources on a larger scale – at the community level and eventually global level. Plus, many reclaimed material just a nice aesthetic to your home.
Saving energy at home can be easy, and with a little creativity and investment you don’t necessarily have to make any radical changes to your lifestyle either. Pick one or two of these energy saving tactics and put them to use today.