Everyone these days is looking for tips on how to save money. Since our homes are our biggest expense, lowering the cost of operating it is a good way to save. Energy expenses like electricity, gas and water account for the largest percentage of the average household budget. Finding creative ways to save energy makes sense when you are trying to cut back on costs.
Here are five easy tips for saving energy at home:
Tip #1: Saving energy means not only using less (reduction) but making the most of what you have (conservation). Sufficient insulation that is properly installed will help you save energy, lower your bills and be more comfortable in your home.
Walls, ceilings, floors, attics and crawl spaces are areas where a thick layer of insulation is needed. A professional energy audit will identify the areas that need to be insulated and a professional contractor can properly install the right type and amount.
Tip #2: Survey your home and make a list of areas where you notice cracks, holes and other leaks. If your house feels drafty, you notice mold, mildew or a musty odor, your home is excessively dusty or you see condensation, then chances are your home is not properly sealed.
Once your list is compiled you can begin filling cracks and holes with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping. If you aren’t the do-it-yourself type, contact a professional energy auditor to perform a comprehensive energy assessment. By following through on the recommendations of an audit you will achieve energy efficiency and savings.
Tip #3: Taking showers instead of baths and shortening your shower time by two minutes will save a lot of energy over time. If you turn your hot water heater temperature down to 120 degrees you will also see savings in your energy consumption and monthly bill. This temperature is adequate for dishwashing as well.
Tip #4: Turn down the thermostat in the winter and turn it up in the summer. Once your home is properly insulated and sealed you will really increase your energy savings and your home will feel comfortable at these adjusted levels.
A programmable thermostat will regulate the temperature throughout the day eliminating wasteful heating and cooling when you’re not home. Using ceiling fans and space heaters might seem like an extra energy drain, but it costs much less to run a fan or space heater than to crank up the furnace or air conditioner.
Tip #5: Common sense habits like turning off lights when you leave the room are simple ways to save energy. Rather than lighting up an entire room, use reading lamps and task lighting whenever possible.
Don’t leave electronic devices like televisions, computers and gaming systems on when you are not using them. Some high-tech devices are sensitive to changes in energy but if it is safe to do so, unplug electronics when not in use. Low-tech small appliances like toasters and coffee makers should always be unplugged after use for saving energy and money.