Could you be spending more on your energy bill than you need to be? As it turns out, there are many simple changes and tips that can significantly reduce your utility bill.
Here are 10 ways you are likely wasting money on energy in your home.
1. Install LED light bulbs
Have you switched out your light bulbs for LEDs? Updating your lights can reduce your energy usage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, CFL and LED lights “typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents.”
LED lights can also last longer than CFLs and incandescent bulbs. According to the DOE, a 12 watt LED bulb has a life of 25,000 hours, compared to 10,000 for a 15 watt CFL and 1000 for a 60 watt traditional incandescent bulb.
Using an LED bulb could save you up to $3.80 each year per light bulb when compared to an incandescent bulb.
2. Use a customizable/programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat lets you set the heating and cooling of your house at set times, even when you are not home. Programming your furnace and/or A/C unit to only run when you are home can reduce your energy consumption.
According to EnergySage, “a programmable thermostat can save you $180 per year.”
3. Optimize your water heater
Water heaters lose much of their heat to the surrounding environment while the water is sitting in the tank. According to EnergyVanguard, natural gas water heaters lose more heat in the tank than electric heaters. This is because a natural gas water heater also loses heat through the exhaust flue.
Water heaters can also lose energy during the firing process. This occurs when the heater converts a fuel source such as natural gas of electricity to heat. According to EnergyVanguard, “You can convert electricity to heat at an efficiency of 100%, so it has no firing losses. Natural gas has a firing efficiency of about 80% in most water heaters.”
Wrapping your water heater in an insulating blanket will keep it insulted and allow it to retain its heat.
Lowering the temperature of your water heater can reduce your energy consumption and energy loss. Most homes only need their water heater set between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could reduce standby energy and demand losses by turning down your water heater temperature. If your water heater is set too high, “your water heater can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses.”
Setting your water heater to a lower temperature can also slow mineral buildup and corrosion.
4. Unplug electronics when not in use
Just because you aren’t currently using one of your electronics doesn’t mean that it isn’t using energy. Many common items such as microwaves, toasters, TVs, computers, and coffee makers use power even when they are turned off. Even devices such as a phone charger left plugged in can consume energy. The DOE recommends unplugging electronic devices that aren’t used often, because it “can save you as much as 10 percent on your electricity bill.”
5. Replace your air filters
Dirty air filters block airflow to your furnace and A/C unit, causing the system to work harder. Clean your filters every three to six months at least.
6. Insulate Your Home and Ducts
Properly insulating your home can lower your utility bills by keeping the heat in during the winter and the heat out during the summer. You should ensure that your attic, crawlspace, exterior walls, and basement is insulated.
Heating ducts should also be insulted. A typical house can lose 20%-30% of the air moving through the ducts due to leaks.
7. Change your dishwasher settings
Changing the way you use your dishwasher can help you save energy and money. Avoid using the rinse hold setting, because it can use up to 7 more gallons of hot water per use.
Turning off the heat dry setting and allowing your dishes to air dry can also reduce the energy use per cycle by as much as 15%-50%.
8. Clean your dryer filter
Another great way to reduce energy without spending more money is by cleaning your dryer’s lint filter. Cleaning the filter can keep your dryer running efficiently.
9. Wash your clothes with cold water
Speaking of the laundry room, did you know that washing your clothes with cold water can save you $63 each year?
Smithsonian Magazine says that “roughly 75 percent of the energy required to do a load of laundry goes into heating the water.”
In fact, darker loads may retain their color more with cold water than washing with hot water.
10. Use ceiling fans instead of A/C when possible
If you have ceiling fans in your home, you can save energy by using them instead of running your A/C unit. This may not always be the best option, especially if you live somewhere with hot weather, but using your fan on cooler days can take care of most of your cooling needs. Just be sure to turn the fans off when you leave the room; fans cool people, not rooms.
You should also check to make sure your fans are spinning in the right direction depending on the season. In the summer, fans should spin counterclockwise, while it should spin the opposite direction in the winter.
Following these tips can help you save energy, and money. To see how you can save even more money on home and appliance repairs, visit Freedom Home Warranty. We’re here to protect you!