With energy costs increasing 42% in the last decade, we all want to find easy ways to save energy (and money).
These 10 energy saving tips will help you keep electric costs down all year.
1. Switch to LED Light Bulbs
For around $5, an LED light bulb will save you at least $100 before it needs replacement. Some electric companies offer rebates for buying them as well.
To get the most out of making the switch, start with the light sources you use the most often and find high-quality LED bulbs.
2. Turn Off Devices
Did you know that leaving your electronics on when not in use accounts for 75% of their power usage? This process is phantom loading. It happens when an electronic device goes into standby mode instead of shutting down all the way.
Appliances that have remotes or clocks are common culprits, as they draw electricity 24/7. Unplug them when you’re not using them and watch how it affects your electric bill.
If this sounds like too much work, try plugging multiple devices into a single power strip that you can turn off. Even better? Invest in one that does it for you.
3. Use Fans
Fans help circulate air, which causes a wind chill effect.
Any fan will provide some benefit, but a ceiling fan is the most effective. In fact, using a ceiling fan will cool a room by four degrees, allowing you to raise your thermostat temperature setting.
4. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Investing in a few energy-efficient upgrades can have a huge effect on your power bill.
Buy appliances that have the Energy Star label. They’re engineered to use up to 50% less energy than their traditional counterparts. Most electric companies offer rebates for new Energy Star appliances too.
5. Navigate the Sun
Use the sun to your advantage.
- Using natural light during the day instead of turning lights on.
- Letting the sunshine in your home to warm it up on cold days.
- Shutting the blinds to keep the heat out during hot days.
Working with (or against) the sun can help save energy all year long (plus take some of the strain off your HVAC unit).
6. Seal Leaks
Gaps and cracks around your windows and doors will allow cool air to escape. (Your dad was right; you don’t want to pay to air-condition the whole neighborhood.)
If light can get through, so can air. Closely examine all exterior doors and windows and seal any gaps or cracks with caulking or weather stripping.
7. Cook in the Microwave
Oven ranges are great for whipping up a batch of cookies or roasting that Thanksgiving turkey, but it’s a real energy hog.
A microwave cooks faster and doesn’t need a long heat-up time, using less energy. Add some microwave-friendly recipes to your rotation and get dinner on the table in less time (using less electricity).
8. Change Your Water Temperature
Use cold water to wash your clothes so your water heater doesn’t have to warm up all that water. Sometimes you need warm water to get out heavy soils, but most of the time, cold water will do the job.
Another easy fix? Set your water heater to a lower temp. Most manufacturers suggest that your water heater thermostat be set to 125 degrees, but in most cases, 110 degrees will do most jobs just fine.
9. Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can cut your electric bill by 25%. By adjusting the temperature in the home throughout the day according to your life schedule, you can save energy for the times you’re actually home to enjoy it.
For example, program your thermostat to raise the AC temperature while you’re gone at work and lower it right before you come home. But because we live in Florida, you should never turn your air conditioner completely off, as this encourages mold growth.
10. More Easy Ways to Save Energy
Here are a few more easy ways to save energy at home.
- Turn your oven off a few minutes before you’re done cooking. The residual heat will cook your food the rest of the way.
- On cold days, after shutting off the oven, open the door to let the heat out into the room.
- Let your dishwasher air dry instead of using the heated drying option.
- Set your refrigerator to the temperature that’s recommended by the manufacturer. Keep it full, too; it’s more efficient.
- When it’s hot out, use your clothes dryer and oven in the evening. This prevents heating the house and making your AC work harder.
- Stream video through a smart TV or streaming device such as a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick instead of a game console. The console consumes up to 30 times more electricity.
What’s the Bottom Line?
These easy ways to save energy add up to big savings on your electric bill. They are not hard to implement either. Use our tips to start saving today.
Live in the Orlando area and want to know how energy efficient your home is? Get an energy report to find out.