Let’s face it, times are tough. We need our paychecks to stretch further and our expenses to just go away. With spring just around the corner, many people are already anticipating the relief of cabin fever. For others it means a fresh start with spring cleaning. Whatever it means to you, taking a few minutes to implement some energy savings will benefit you all year.
There are a few different general methods to save on energy bills, but most if not all fall into one of two major categories. You either try to use less energy overall or try to get more efficiency from the energy you are already using. Most experts and home improvement gurus will tell you doing a combination of both is the best way to manage energy costs.
In the realm of using less, keep these tips in mind:
- Confront phantom power usage: Energy being drawn from devices such as phones,stereos, ect. that are not in use but remain plugged in accounts for around 10 percent of energy costs to consumers. Unplug chargers and small appliances that are not in use, and connect larger ones like televisions and computers to a power strip that can be turned off when not in use.
- Don’t neglect natural sources: Turn lights off and open blinds or curtains to let in natural light, open windows at night to allow cool air in and close windows during the day to trap heat out, and turn off the thermostat when your home maintains a comfortable temperature. Tossing on a sweater on chilly nights costs nothing, in comparison to running the furnace. Also remember as the days warm up that you can use your clothes dryer less and hang clothes out to dry.
- Remember the water: Turning down the temperature on your hot water tank to near 120 degrees isn’t only cost reducing, it is a safety consideration if children are in your home.
Perhaps just as important as using less is making the most of what you do have to use. Although you can certainly remodel your home to be more energy efficient, the reality of the matter is that is costly. Here are some simple-and affordable-ways to be more energy efficient.
- Replace filters: Replace furnace filters regularly, and clean the filters of air conditioners.
- Flip the switch on fans: Ensure ceiling fans are drawing air upward to properly circulate cool air.
- Lighting twist: Replace those old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.
In addition to what has already been mentioned, there are a few other ways to save as the weather warms up. Some spring and summer lifestyles already lean toward energy savings, such as grilling out instead of using the stove. Not only do you pay to use the stove, your air conditioner works harder to maintain the temperature. By firing up the barbeque you can enjoy the food without the hit in your energy bill.If you own a pool then you can go even further to keep costs low. On nights when your pool isn’t in use, switch the filter off.
The weather is warming up and the nights are slowly getting longer, and now you are ready to meet the changes with energy savings. By implementing these suggestions it is possible to cut up to 15 percent from your energy bill, enough that it is equal to one month without an energy bill at all!
written by: Natasha Risinger
Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net