Saving energy is always a good idea, not only is it environmentally friendly, but it can also save you money as well. Becoming more energy efficient doesn’t always have to mean a huge overhaul though, there are small changes you can make and new habits can form that really add up. Here are a few simple things you can do to help make your home more energy efficient.
Buy LED Light Bulbs
LED lights on average use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. Replacing all of your light bulbs with LED can really save on your energy use, they also last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You won’t find yourself needing to buy light bulbs nearly as often or have nearly as much waste.
Turn Off Lights
Turning off the lights when not needed seems like an easy fix, but many people find themselves in the habit of leaving lights on when going from room to room and not thinking about it. Try to get into the habit of turning off lights when leaving a room and teach your kids to do the same. Consider installing motion sensored lights for even more convenience.
Use Cold Water for Washing Clothes
Unless your clothes are heavily soiled or need sanitized, cold water is a good go to setting for the washing machine. Cold water saves energy, helps keep clothes from fading or bleeding, and prevents shrinking.
Replace Air Filters
It’s recommended that you change your furnace air filter at least every 90 days, more often if you have pets. Replacing the air filter regularly helps your furnace and air conditioning units from needing to work harder. It will also provide cleaner air for you to breathe.
Use Blinds, Shades and Curtains to Help Control Indoor Temperature
Window coverings do more than provide privacy and decor. When used properly they can also help control light and temperature in your home. Close blinds and curtains in hotter months to block out the sun, open them during cooler months to let light in and warm naturally. There are many blinds and shade options available that are designed to increase your home’s energy efficiency and comfort as well. Consider buying these when replacing your window treatments.
Unplug Electronics and Small Appliances
All of the small electronics and appliances you have plugged in add up to a lot of energy use. Make a habit of unplugging chargers, toasters, blenders, computers, and other electronic items when not in use. Unplug your phones and tablets as soon as they are fully charged rather than leaving it in the charger for long periods of time.
Turn off Heated Dry on the Dishwasher
Not using the heated dry setting on your dishwasher can save up to 15% of the energy used. If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, choose this option instead of heated dry. If you do not have this option, then simply crack the dishwasher open after it completes washing and let it dry naturally on the racks.
Keep the Refrigerator and Freezer Properly Stocked
It may be surprising that refrigerators and freezers are actually more efficient when they are fully stocked but it is true. The appliances are designed to function at their best when shelves are full, but not over stocked. Keep in mind that air flow is also important for maximum efficiency. So, pay attention to how you stock and organize your refrigerators and freezers.
Set Refrigerator to Manufacturer’s Recommended Setting
Read your manufacturer’s recommended setting for the refrigerator and leave it there. This is the temperature that the refrigerator is meant to run at most efficiently, changing the temperature to a cooler setting will waste unnecessary energy, setting it to a higher temperature may seem more efficient, but it may lead to unsafe temperatures for your food or cause other issues.
Set Thermostat to 78 Degrees in the Summer and 68 Degrees in the Winter
These temperature settings are recommended for optimal energy efficiency. Not everyone will be comfortable with these temperatures, but keep in mind that just 1 degree in the temperature setting can cost 3% more. It’s also a great idea to use a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one as well.
Close Vents in Rooms Not Used
Closing the heating and cooling vents in rooms that you don’t use often can also help increase your home’s efficiency. Instead of your system working to heat or cool that area, it can move air more efficiently into the areas of the home that are in use.
Only Run Full Loads
One simple thing you can get in the habit of doing is only running the washing machine and dishwasher when they are fully loaded. It takes nearly as much energy and water to run a partially filled machine as it does to run the full load. Save energy and time by loading up those dishwashers and washers until they are full.