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Seven Energy-Saving Tips to Help You Reduce Your Usage And Save Money

 

Image Source: Pexels CC0 Licence

If you’ve calculated what your energy bill will be this month and the figure is giving you grey hairs, you may be relieved to hear that just a few simple changes to how you run your home could significantly impact your energy use, and bring those bills down.  

Whether you’re willing to invest in major gains efficiency-wise, or you’re going to be limited to smaller adjustments for the foreseeable future, these tips will help you reduce your energy use and save money. 

Small Savings Add Up 

Before you start putting in the effort to save energy in your home, it’s important to recognize that you won’t always feel like your efforts are making much of an impact. While it may be hard to believe that each of the little changes you make will have a significant impact on a day-to-day basis, they certainly add up. If it helps your motivation, keep in mind some of the things you’re keen to buy but can’t afford right now. Whether it’s that black backpack you’re drooling over, or a new winter coat, your day-to-day energy savings will soon add up to some exciting rewards! This is an especially useful tip if you have kids who struggle to see why they should switch off the lights when leaving a room, or stop leaving doors open to the draft. Perhaps there are some end of season treats that your combined family energy efficiency could fund. After a while your family won’t need the incentive to save energy in small ways, as the habit will have become ingrained, but when you’re just getting started, why not do what works. 

As is all too often the case, the more cash you have available, the more you can potentially save. Energy efficiency in the home is no exception. Those who can afford to spend significant sums on modern energy saving features are able to enjoy the benefit of significant savings down the line. If you’re in a position to afford a little extra, here are some impactful things you can do.

Rethink Your Doors 

While your door may be perfectly serviceable (i.e. it opens, closes and locks) it’s worth asking whether the materials that your doors are made of are helping or hindering your quest to reduce your energy use. If you don’t know about composite doors yet, time to meet the new kid on the block. Improved energy efficiency is only one of the reasons that many people find that composite doors are superior to standard UPVC doors, the most commonly used solution in American homes. Another great way to prevent loss of heat through your doorways is to install storm doors, especially if you live in a cold climate. Your added protective barrier will be great when you want to block the chilly wind.  

Insulate The Attic 

Attics are notorious for losing heat. Improving the insulation in the attic will prevent much of the heat escaping from the other parts of your house, bringing your energy bills down. New insulation can be reasonably cheap, but it will be a more pricey investment if you’re insulating a large attic and you live in an extremely cold climate. Of course, the upfront investment might be a pain at first, but your bank balance will thank you later, when you stop losing heat through the ceiling, one of the main sources of energy waste in American homes. 

Go Green With Solar Panels 

One of the more pricey home energy solutions, solar panels have started to snow-ball in popularity because of their eco-friendly design. If you’re interested in saving money on your monthly energy bills, consider taking the opportunity to reduce your fossil fuel use while you’re at it? Installing solar panels on top of your home means you’ll benefit from all that free energy gifted to us by the sun. Whether you use the saved-up energy to warm your shower or power the filter in your swimming pool, supplementing your regular energy use with eco-friendly solar power is a great way to bring your overall usage down.  

Of course, not everyone can stretch their budgets enough to make major updates at the drop of a hat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save cash on your energy bill. Try these simple, more affordable solutions.  

Lower Your Thermostat 

While being chilly in your own house should never be considered as a cost-saving approach, it’s will be well worth your while to lower the temperature of your thermostat during periods of the day when you are going to be out of the house anyway. (Certainly, if you’re going on vacation for a week—just don’t lower it so much that your water pipes risk freezing! The sweet spot is a cold enough temperature that you have to wear jackets indoors for a few hours after your homecoming. Of course, it’s not ideal to be cold inside, but you’ll save loads, so it will be worth it!) Just a couple of degrees on your daily temperature settings are likely to make a huge difference to your monthly energy bill. Forming the habit is useful, of course, but if your system allows, you should be able to schedule automatic pre-set temperatures to correspond with your work schedule.  

Seal Your Windows 

Sealing all those pesky nooks and crannies around your windows shouldn’t be too difficult. Windows are prime culprits for letting drafts in, so it’s well worth taking the time to seal them off properly, especially if your windows don’t benefit from double glazing. (Also, if you can afford to invest in double glazing, definitely do—you’ll save money over time.) Weatherstripping is a brilliant and cost-effective solution for drafty windows. An even cheaper solution (if you don’t mind the strange aesthetics of it) is to install plastic wrap across your window panes, using tape to affix it around the edges. Seal any cracks you find in your drywall with silicone, and you won’t be disappointed with the resulting reduction in your energy use this winter.  

Up Your Laundry Game 

If you regularly set your washing machine to run on a warm or hot cycle, you could be adding an additional 90% onto your energy use, compared with the energy required to run a cold wash. Of course, a hot wash is really useful (sometimes essential) for heavily soiled items, but the fact is, most of your clothing, towels and bed linen will come out perfectly fine after a good cold wash. While you may not expect that one load of laundry will make a huge difference to your overall energy usage, think for a moment about how many loads you usually do every week. Or, if you’re so inclined, do a little experiment: stick to cold laundry cycles for a month, then check out your energy bill and feel your jaw drop. Go back to hot washes if you want, but that is unlikely once you’ve seen your monthly savings. 

There’s one thing worse for your energy bill than running a hot laundry cycle, and that’s unnecessarily drying the clothing in the tumble dryer. Of course, it’s understandable that you’d need to use a dryer for those heavier items in the winter, but the issue arises when it’s a habitual step in your laundry procedure to simply chuck everything in the dryer. Make allowances now and again when conditions dictate and you need a dryer, but hang your clothes out on the line whenever you can.  

Whether you live in a big house or a tiny rented apartment, these adjustments to your home and energy use habits will help you get your bills down to a more manageable level. 

Image Source: Pexels CC0 Licence

 

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.