There are so many different ways to save energy at home. Some can range from changing your habits and simple behavioral adjustments, while others may have an upfront cost or home improvements with them. Believe it or not, even some small changes can have a big impact on your bills. Here are the eight most common ways to conserve and save energy at home.
1. Replace your light bulbs
Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy efficient alternatives. Just make sure you understand the differences between LEDs, CFLs, and Halogens so you don’t waste money on the wrong bulb.
The technology keeps changing and improving than the earlier ones so you might find one you like better now. Although energy efficient bulbs are more expensive off the shelf, their efficient energy use and longer lifetimes mean that they cost less in the long run.
2. Use smart power strips
The traditional power strips probably have encouraged you to keep many of your electronics plugged in constantly, using power even when you’re not using them as they wait in standby mode. Smart strips will shut down power to products on standby mode and save you 5 to 10% of your energy consumption. “Phantom loads,” or the electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode, are a major source of energy waste. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off, which can cost you up to $200 per year.
3. Install a programmable or smart thermostat
A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling during the times when you are asleep or away. On average, a programmable thermostat can save you $180 per year. Programmable thermostats come in different models that can be set to fit your weekly schedule. Some thermostats can include indicators for when to replace air filters or HVAC system problems, which also improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
You’ll save money heating and cooling your home at the right times for you and your family. And prices have come down so you should be able to find one in your price range.
4. Purchase energy efficient appliances
When purchasing an appliance, you should pay attention to two numbers: the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost. When purchasing an energy efficient appliance, you should look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy during use and when on standby than standard models. Energy savings differ based on the specific appliance. For example, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers consume 25% less energy and 45% less water than conventional ones.
5. Reduce your water heating expenses
Water heating is a major contributor to your total energy consumption. Other than purchasing an energy efficient water heater, there are three methods of reducing your water heating expenses: you can simply use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, or insulate your water heater. Some other tips to try are: Take faster showers, run only full loads of dishes and laundry, turn off water heater when you go on vacation, and install low-flow faucets and shower-heads.
6. Install energy efficient windows
Energy efficient windows are designed to prevent your heated or cooled air escaping from your home. Their increased insulation reduces your home’s energy usage and therefore, your bills!—while also making your home more comfortable overall. Windows are significant source of energy waste – they can add up to 10-25% of your total heating bill. To prevent heat loss through your windows, you can replace single-pane windows with double-pane products instead.
Depending on where you live, ENERGY STAR windows can save you $20-$95 each year on your utility bills. Window shades, shutters, screens, and awnings can also provide an extra layer of insulation between your home and outside temperatures, leading to even more energy conservation
7. Upgrade your HVAC system
Heating alone is responsible for more than 40% of home energy use. Because homes in Utah are exposed to colder temperatures during the year, ENERGY STAR gas furnaces have different specifications in the northern and southern halves of the United States.
Upgrading to a “U.S. South” ENERGY STAR certification can save you up to 12% on your heating bill, or an average of $36 per year. ENERGY STAR furnaces in the northern half of the U.S. are labeled with the standard ENERGY STAR logo and are up to 16% more energy efficient than baseline models. This translates to average savings of $94 per year on your heating bill in the Utah
Upgrading your ventilation can also improve your homes efficiency. A ventilation system is composed of a network of ducts, which distributes hot and cold air throughout your home. If these ducts are not properly sealed or insulated, the resulting energy waste can add hundreds of dollars to your annual heating and cooling expenses.
8. Replace your air filters
Replacing your filters will not only help you avoid having to make costly repairs to your air conditioning but could also save money. In fact, The Department of Energy released a report saying that replacing dirty filters regularly can reduce household energy consumption up to 15%. This is because clean filters are more efficient and put less strain on your system.
Hope that helped! Don’t forget about energy tax credits that many cities and states offer when you do any energy improvements. Let me know if you have any questions about these easy energy saving tips!
I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
2901 Ashton Blvd. #102
Lehi, UT 84043
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