The average American home spends $110 a month on electricity. Obviously, this varies depending on which state you are in, and how many people make up your household. But that’s still a lot of cash.
With winter approaching have you thought about how you can reduce your monthly expenditure on electricity?
You may just be used to those monthly bills mounting up, but there are ways you can reduce your energy consumption and therefore your expenditure.
Of course, reducing the amount of electricity you use is not just about money. We are all becoming more aware of the impact our energy use has on the environment. So there has never been a better time to think about using less electricity.
Read on for seven essential winter energy saving tips.
1. Change the Way You Use Energy
We are all creatures of habit. We get used to doing things in a certain way, and rarely do we consider changing our behavior.
But are your energy use habits costing you more than they should?
Start thinking about your daily behavior when it comes to electricity.
Do you always switch the lights off when you leave the room? Do you leave the refrigerator door open while you’re making coffee or preparing food? Do you leave your TV and computers on standby when you are not using them?
These things might not sound like much but they all add up. Making a number of small adjustments could have quite an impact on your energy usage and your electricity bills.
2. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Traditional light bulbs get hot, use too much electricity, and blow regularly.
If you need more reasons to replace your traditional light bulbs, they also cost more to use.
That’s because old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are not very efficient. A lot of the energy used by a light bulb is wasted in heat.
New energy-saving light bulbs, whether they are halogen or LED, are much more efficient. They use less electricity to create the same amount of light as traditional bulbs. And they don’t waste all that energy getting hot.
Modern energy-efficient light bulbs also have a much longer life, so need replacing much less frequently. So, while the initial cost is more than a traditional light bulb, it saves you money in the long run.
3. Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are becoming an increasingly common fixture in people’s homes.
This is because they save you money, and are a super convenient way of controlling the temperature in your home.
Smart thermostats can automatically control the temperature of a room depending on whether there is anyone in it. They can also be programmed remotely. So if you know you are going to be late home, you can delay turning the heating on from your smartphone.
Installing a smart thermostat can also be a good way to show you exactly how much electricity you use, and when you use it. This will make it easier to make adjustments in your behavior too.
4. Insulate Your Home
Insulating your home not only makes it more efficient but will also reduce your energy bills.
If your home is not insulated, some of the money you are spending on heating is wasted as the heat is escaping outside.
There is a recommended level of heat retention for all homes in the US, This is called the R-value. The recommended R-value of your home varies depending on your location. But you can check some basic recommendations using the government’s Home Energy Saver tool.
Some of the basic steps you can take to insulate your home are:
- Sealing gaps around windows
- Installing insulation in your attic or roof space
- Covering gaps in the floorboards
- Install energy saving windows
- Covering cold walls with drywalling
- Using thicker curtains over windows
Taking some time to go around your home checking for drafts and identifying areas where heat may be escaping is a really wise thing to do. Once you have done this you can start taking measures to make your home better insulated and more efficient.
5. Maintain Your Heating System
When was the last time your HVAC system was maintained or upgraded?
If you can’t remember then it is definitely time!
Your HVAC system is responsible for a large part of the energy consumption of your home. Making sure that it is working as efficiently as possible is vital for your comfort and also your finances.
If you are not sure whether your heating system is running at peak capacity, you should call out a heating engineer today. Getting this done before the winter really kicks in could save you a lot of time, money and energy. Read more here.
6. Use Energy Efficient Appliances
Every electrical appliance you buy comes with two tags. One is how much it costs to buy the appliance, the other is the cost of operating the product. This gives you an indication of how efficient the appliance is.
When buying new appliances always look for products with the Energy Star label. This is a government-sponsored rating that guarantees the appliance will use less energy than a standard non-energy efficient model.
It is worth considering replacing older appliances with Energy Star guaranteed ones. As even if you were not planning on replacing them so soon, the operational savings you could make may outweigh the cost of a new model.
7. Make The Most Of Natural Energy
Finally, don’t forget to make the most of what mother nature is giving you!
Even in the winter, the sun provides valuable light and heat. So, during the day, make sure all your windows are unobstructed so you can make the most of all that natural light and turn your lights off.
On a sunny day, don’t automatically put your laundry in the drier. Hang it up in the sunshine and use the free energy to let it dry.
Winter Energy Saving Tips for You and the Planet
So those are seven essential winter energy saving tips. Not only good for the environment but good for your wallet too.
Stay ahead of the game and check out more essential hacks and tips today.