Save Money the Easy Way: Energy-Saving Tips for Your Home

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “the typical U.S. family spends at least $2,000 a year on home utility bills.” Whether there is a blizzard outside of your home or the summer sun is sizzling beyond relief, there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint as well as the dollars coming out of your wallet. Below is a compiled list that can apply to you and your family despite what season it may be.

Simple Home Tips You Can Do Today:

  • Unplug appliances you don’t use.
  • Limit opening and closing your refrigerator.
  • Allow your dishes to air-dry.
  • Skip the dryer and put your clothes on the line if weather allows it.
  • Wash your clothes in cool water. Alliance to Save Energy suggests that you can save up to $70 each year when using cold water as opposed to hot or warm water.
  • Turn off the lights as traditional incandescent bulbs give 90% heat. Use energy efficient bulbs that give less heat and save you money. LED lights can save you 75%-80% in energy savings.
  • Skip the bath, and use cooler, shorter showers. California Energy Commission notes you can trim down your heating expenses by 33% this way!

Maintain Temperature Stability If you don’t have an automatic thermostat, it may be wise to look into one so you can program it while you are away so you are not wasting heat or cool air while you are away. Routine:

  • Make sure your Air Ducts and windows are sealed properly to prevent leaks and loss of energy.
  • Properly insulate your crawlspace and attic to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the summer.
  • For your furnace and A/C systems make sure to go routinely change the filters as recommended (usually once a month) in your owner’s manual.

During the winter:

  • Keep your thermostat at least 72 degrees Fahrenheit, if not lower such as 68 degrees Fahrenheit (what you are comfortable with).
  • Also, you may want to invest in thermal window treatments if your windows are not energy efficient to keep the heat in.
  • Did you know for each degree lowered during winter, you can save up to 5% on your energy bill? You can, according to Alliance to Save Energy. It does pay to dress and bundle up appropriately during the cold months.

Quick Tip: If you’re baking with your oven, use it to your advantage. After you are done cooking, turn off the oven, and crack it open slightly…there’s no need to waste the heat! Just make sure if you have any children or pets they are away from the partially open oven . During the summer:

  • Adjust your thermostat to the 78 degrees  or to which you are the most comfortable with. When you are away from home or sleeping, you can get away with the thermostat turned up.
  • Use your blinds or window treatments to block the sun and heat out.
  • Use ceiling fans to your advantage. Fans will circulate the air (remember, warm air rises and cool air sinks!) allowing you to be cooler without having to overwork your air conditioner.

Sources: Photo Credit: Sarah Gerrity, Energy Department Alliance To Save Energy Energy Star NeighborWorks Sierra Wave MediaU.S. Department of Energy

Save Money the Easy Way: Energy-Saving Tips for Your Home