Every month the bills come and it is hard to see the numbers listed next to the words “amount due”. While it may seem like you are stuck paying higher prices to keep your home running just the way you like it, the truth is there are many things you can do to use less energy in your home. Using less energy translates to more money to spend as you wish. There are many culprits in your home that are costing you extra every single month.
Here are a few of the worst energy wasting items and what you can do about them:
- Water Heater: This monster takes up roughly 14 percent of your energy bill. In order to reduce the effect, reduce the water heater to 120 degrees fahrenheit or lower and use less hot water.
- Lights: Standard fluorescent light bulbs are an enemy to your bank account. Change out your standard light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs. Also, turn off lights when you are not in a room and take advantage of natural sunlight, especially since it lasts so long in the summertime.
- Appliances: Replace larger appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers with more energy efficient models. Clean the dryer filter regularly. Also top loading washers use quite a bit more water and energy than front loading washers, so make the change if possible.
- Anything Plugged In: When an electronic is plugged in, it is using up energy even when it is turned off. TVs, DVD players, laptops, and other electronics with displays are especially bad. Keep items unplugged when not in use and unplug them promptly when they are finished charging.
- Furnace Fans: These help circulate warm air through the house and in homes with A/C they also help to circulate the cold air. Switching to an energy efficient motor can cut energy use by 60 percent.
- Microwaves: These appliances are especially bad about sucking up extra energy. Even when in standby, there is still a lot of energy being used to keep the clock running and the buttons lit. Turn down standby settings on your microwave to lessen energy usage.
- Game Consoles: Especially true for newer models, these are made to save energy when used correctly. However, many people turn off their TVs, but not the gaming console, causing extra energy usage. Remember to turn it off or buy one with an automatic off in case you keep forgetting. Also, refrain from using them to stream videos. This uses up almost twice the amount of energy as streaming video another way.
- Pool Pumps: If you are lucky enough to have a pool to escape the heat, you also have to deal with a pool pump. These keep water circulating and passing through filters. While this is great for you, it is bad for energy usage – especially if you have a single speed pump that is always going at high speed. Buy an energy efficient pump. They are more expensive upfront, but the pump will pay for itself in five years and save you over $1,000 over its lifetime.
- Insufficient Attic Ventilation: Proper ventilation prevents the buildup of condensation that can damage to wood and insulation. It also causes heating and cooling systems to run excessively, as mentioned here. Have your attic inspected to ensure there is proper ventilation.
- Insufficient Insulation and Weatherstripping: Drafty windows and doors are terrible for energy retention. Update weather stripping so you don’t have your hard earned energy going out the door (literally), causing your house to have to work even harder to keep it at the desired temperature. Single pane windows are also a culprit, as heat and cold easily transfer through these windows. Consider installing solar screens or double-pane your windows.
- Heating and Cooling: These systems, when left on all of the time, can cause a lot of energy waste. Install a programmable thermostat to help the house regulate itself and not use up extra energy during times when nobody is home. Keep the temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter for optimum energy conservation. Consider using fans and dehumidifiers more during warm months as they require less energy.
A little extra attention and some quick replacements can add up to big savings for you over time. Especially with the summer heat sticking around and the need for cooler air rising, look for ways to reduce your energy usage around the home and save yourself some extra bucks.
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!