These days it seems that everyone has new ways to save resources or ‘go green’ as they say. There are ways to make your own cleaning products that are less harmful to the planet and products available to use less energy. Everywhere you look it seems like ‘energy-efficient’ is the new ‘anti-bacterial’. There are simple things you can do around your house that will save you money and energy, some of which may seem like common sense when it’s all said and done.
We are always looking for ways to save money on your energy use, but when it comes to reducing your consumptive uses in terms of electricity most companies will just tell you to turn the lights off when you leave a room. There are so many other ways to be able to reduce your energy use that will help save the environment, as well as your bank account.
Starting from the top to the bottom, the attic is the first place where you can begin saving. Make sure the access to your attic is properly fitted, whether it’s a pull-down door or a simple pop-up door. If possible add some insulation around the door or weather stripping. Add additional insulation to the attic itself if necessary and be sure your attic has proper ventilation.
Moving on to the bathroom, there are tons of very simple things you can do in terms of saving water. The easiest is to turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. Baths use much more water than showers so whenever possible opt for shorter showers with cooler water rather than steaming hot. Make sure every faucet is tightened securely and has no leaks. Routine maintenance of your bathroom should include cleaning your showerheads to remove particles that build up over time.
In living, spaces with fireplaces make sure the damper is closed when not in use and close the glass doors if you have them. Cold and warm air alike can escape through this small space. Try wearing a sweater in the winter rather than adding more heat, and use a ceiling fan in the summer to cool off a big area better.
In the laundry room make sure you are washing full loads, rather than a few items, if possible. Try to wash as many loads as you can in cold or warm water and always use a cold water rinse.
I have compiled a list of 10 more easy energy-saving tips anybody can use in order to save money on their electricity bill.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs
Many people have heard this one before, and if you haven’t done it yet then what is stopping you? These energy-saving light bulbs are one of the easiest and biggest savers that are currently available. Most CFL bulbs use only a fraction of the electricity; yet produce the same amount of light.
Install a programmable thermostat
You don’t have to spend big bucks on some of the thermostats that are out there. There are some very reasonable-priced thermostats on the market that do the job exactly the same. I spent 30 bucks on one and noticed an instant difference in my electric bill. Make sure you buy one that has a weekday and a weekend timer in the program.
Tinting your windows
This takes a lot of time but is worth it when you do it yourself. If you get professional companies to do it for you the price skyrockets. You can accomplish this in a weekend though and can block out 70% of the sun’s rays. We installed this first in my son’s room because the sunbeams right into his room, and raises the temp by almost 10 degrees compared to the rest of the house.
Install light-blocking curtains
This energy-saving technique will also help you in the winter retain heat from your house instead of being lost. These curtains are much thicker than regular curtains, as well. It is also nice to watch a movie in the middle of the day, and still feel like night.
Plant a Tree
This may not seem like it does a lot, but if you plant a tree in the right spot of your yard it will keep the sun rays from directly hitting your house for the majority of the day. Positioning is key when planting a tree for this purpose.
Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
This one can start to get very expensive very fast, so I recommend doing this in phases. Start with your biggest energy drainer and move down the list. For example, we start with our refrigerator.
Install solar power floodlights that detect motion
These lights are just as bright when it matters most, and that is when activity is taking place outside your house. Technology has made these lights just as bright when compared to the directly plugged-in models.
Install timers for your electronics
This will keep the vampire devices at bay. I use them on my entertainment center and computer desk. These timers cut their power around my schedule, and turn them on before I get home, so I don’t have to wait to enjoy television.
Add insulation to your home
This one can get very expensive very fast, as well, but has some of the biggest savings. Most houses are not adequately insulated, and as a result, suffer heat loss during winter, and cooling loss during summer. That is correct adding insulation helps your house stay cool in the summer, as well as warm in the winter.
Weatherize your home
Most people have heard of this, but may not understand what it means, or the best way to accomplish this. Buy insulating pads for outlets and light switches that face an outside wall. I felt a draft one year and it ended up coming from an outlet behind my bed. Stop the drafts by checking the seals from your windows, doors, and anywhere else a draft might occur in your home.
A few simple tricks and some regular maintenance can help save you and the planet. Most of these things are fairly easy and inexpensive to do but will go to great lengths in lowering your bills, as well as reserving resources. Changing a few habits is all that is needed for a lot of these tips.
Even if you haven’t caught up with the ‘going green’ phenomenon, most people are willing to save a few dollars. By following these simple changes you can do both!