Your home is full of energy vampires and they are sucking up electricity even when you aren't home. As much as possible, unplug items in your home that aren't in use. Turn off computers, lights, lamps, phone chargers and other devices that are using unnecessary electricity. Powering down your computer alone can save up to $200 per year.
Consider making the switch to energy-efficient bulbs. You’ll have to eventually anyway, as the traditional incandescent light bulbs are going out of production, but you might want to make a change now. You’ll pay more at the register, but a single compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) uses about one-quarter of the energy traditional bulbs use to produce the same light. They also have a much longer life span – about 10 times longer, in fact. And they consume much less heat, which reduces cooling costs. Replacing a single bulb can save more about $30 over the life of the bulb.
You might want to opt for a tankless water heater installation. Heating water in your home accounts for about 30 percent of your energy costs. Tankless water heaters are more than 20 percent more efficient than traditional water heaters. And, traditional water heaters maintain 40 gallons or so of hot water at all time, whereas tankless water heaters only use energy when needed.
When doing laundry, use cool water as much as possible. Except for very stubborn stains, improvements in laundry detergent formulas in recent years mean that hot water may not be necessary to get your clothes clean. To even further reduce your energy usage, hang your clothes outside to dry after they are laundered. Your clothes dryer accounts for about 6 percent of your overall energy usage. After every load, clean the lint filter to keep the dryer running efficiently.
When cooking, go smaller appliances, like a toaster oven or a crock pot, and reheat food in a microwave. Smaller appliances take less energy than your oven. But when you do use the oven, minimize the number of times you check on the meal. Every time you open the oven door the temperature drops 25 degrees, requiring more energy to bring it back to the desired cooking temperature. When you’re done with dinner, skip rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher or, if you need to rinse, use cold water.There are many steps you can take to be comfortable in your house and, at the same time, eliminate unnecessary costs that are also bad for the environment. Just a few small changes will help you reduce your energy bills and go a little greener.
About The Author: Tina Jacobs is a registered nurse and DIY home improvement maven who has written and blogged for DIY Mother as well as numerous print and online publications ranging in topics from education to health and from home renovations to interior decorating.
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