Unplug Appliances When Not In Use
Many appliances that we don’t think twice about leaving plugged in can actually continue to draw power, even if they are turned off. Unplugging these things until we use them can save money on electrical bills each month, especially in the hot Texas summer when all energy goes to the A/C to make sure we don’t burn to death.
- Toasters, Coffeemakers, Standing Mixers
- Hair Dryers, and other hair care appliances
- Sound systems, TVs, Computers
Close Blinds to Keep Out Excess Sunlight
In the summer especially, the warm sun coming in the windows can heat the inside of your home, which makes your A/C work harder, and in turn raises your energy bills. If you’re not using a particular room, keep the shades drawn to keep the sun out, and this will save energy! Vampires must have lovely energy bills.
Or, in winter months, open all the blinds to allow the sun to warm your home naturally.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Does the temperature of the water really make that much of a difference in how clean your clothes are? With the exception of a few things like towels, bedding, and unmentionables (I wash all of these on hot), using cold water to wash your clothes could save you over $60 a year on your energy bill!
Now, I am kind of OCD about my laundry, and if you are like me, then you question cold water, but come on, that’s 6 Chipotle burritos we are talking about.
Lower the Temperature of Your Water Heater
I know you probably like to have the potential of being scalded when you turn on the faucet or shower, but if you lower your water heater temperature from manufacturer standard 140° to 120°, it could save you a lot of money in energy costs. Water heating uses about 15-20% of your monthly energy.
There’s really no reason for it to be any higher anyway, and it will still kill the same amount of germs on your dirty laundry if you wash with hot water. (Sorry, I’m back to that.) And you won’t burn yourself washing dishes. Hooray!
Replace Incandescent Bulbs with CFLs
Now, I would roll my eyes too if someone told me to replace all my light bulbs, but hear me out. The lighting in your home draws about 10% of the energy costs. You could save as much as 75% on your bills by switching to compact fluorescent bulbs. They cost a bit more than incandescents so my advice is this: when one burns out, replace it with an energy efficient light bulb instead of the cheap incandescents. Over time, you will save more and more money on lighting energy! CFLs last a lot longer too, so you won’t be spending to replace them every six months.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
I know. It’s gross pulling that thing out to see all the gunk that sticks in there. But be thankful that you didn’t breathe it in! Dirty air filters can make air flow pass much slower into your home, making the HVAC system work harder. Replacing your filters monthly can reduce the energy used to push the air through a clogged filter. And maybe it won’t be so terrifying to look at since you aren’t changing it every six months or so.
Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
You can grumble that I said “purchase,” but even though these can be expensive (Matthew McConaughey’s voice as the Nest Thermostat is speaking in my head right now), they could save you big bucks. If you set the thermostat 10 degrees lower or higher for eight hours a night, you could save around 10% on your yearly energy bills. So, it pays for itself in a year or less. It doesn’t even have to be at night! If you are not home all day, why not let it be programmed for that time? Your cat won’t suffer in the heat or the cold. They have fur, a fancy term for temperature insulation. I like cool nights, so this is a better alternative for me. (My animals are not neglected by house temperature)
So there you have it. I could probably go on for days about energy saving tips, but these, to me, are important ones that I utilize in my own home. (Though I should be better about the laundry temperature.) These are not hard to do, especially if you work full time and don’t have time to caulk your windows and clean your chimney shaft.