Since every penny counts these days, saving money whenever possible should be a top priority. There are a lot of costs that are out of your control, but reducing energy consumption is something that can be easily done by following the tips below:
Tip 1. Reducing electric consumption is as simple as using it only when needed. Turning off lights that aren’t in use can work wonders on your electric bill. If you just need a soft light, candles can also be a useful tool, instead of clicking on a light switch.
Tip 2. Using lower wattage bulbs in areas that don’t need as much lighting is another way of reducing your electric bill. Using bulbs labeled “energy saver” will also cut costs as well.
Tip 3. Unplugging appliances that are not in use for extended periods of time will also lend a “hand” at saving on your electric bill.
Tip 4. When utilizing electric heaters and air conditioners, set temperatures so that they will come on only when necessary. These appliances have controls where you can regulate the amount of energy being used. In winter months, it is a good idea to use heavy drapes to cover windows to reduce the drafts that often find their way into your home. Taping plastic around your windows will also keep out unwanted drafts as well. In the summer months, it’s a good idea to close blinds and/or pull shades to keep out the sun-light. Heat from the sun will heat up your home, triggering your air conditioner to come on. Speaking of air conditioners, make sure you remove them from your windows when they are no longer in use.
Tip 5. If you’re like most households with computers, your computer is in heavy use. Setting your computer to “sleep” or “hibernate” is a way to control the amount of energy being used. Monitoring computer use by children will also reduce energy consumption.
Tip 6. Other appliances that can use high volumes of energy are your washing machine and dryer. Hot water consumption can send your electric and gas bills through the roof. Using cold water whenever possible will cut down on energy costs, tremendously. Buying detergents specifically for cold water use will ensure that your clothes still get clean. Limiting the use of your dryer by air drying, whenever possible, will also make a difference in your utility bill. Hanging clothes out to dry in the summer time is a thing of the past, but when it comes to saving on energy costs, bringing back the past can be beneficial.
Tip 7. Still on the subject of hot water usage, taking quick showers or opting to bathe instead of watching the water and your pennies go right down the drain can also reduce energy consumption.
These are just a handful of tips to help reduce your energy consumption, and deciding to implement them will decrease your energy bills for sure. These tips work whether you are trying reduce your home energy consumption.
We’re always being bombarded with sales pitches that say “Save 40% on your energy bills!” or “Cut your electric bill in half!” Consumers are frequently misled and confused by the various gizmos designed to save energy in the home. Consumer advocates warn homeowners to look out for products that don’t live up to the hype. Watch out for transient voltage surge protectors, black box devices for appliances, power factor correction devices, insulated paints, power-filtering devices and other energy conserving devices that promise hard-to-believe guarantees. Yet despite all the frauds out there, a number of legitimate devices are being widely used for saving energy in the home.
Since heating and cooling system expenses count for the largest portion of your overall home energy consumption, we’ll first look at this realm of home energy saving devices. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to set specific room temperatures for certain times of the day, without needing to manually adjust the dial. For instance, many people program their thermostats to turn down at night or while they’re at work and not using the heat. They can also program the heat to automatically turn back up just before they come home at night.
For the forgetful, there are also remote control heating systems that let you change the temperature even after you leave home. With a quick phone call, you can change the temperature of your home. Centralized heating and cooling also helps households with individual thermostats to maintain better consistency.
Another way to save energy is with water heating system devices. Reducing water consumption will also save on electricity. For instance, a low-flow showerhead can save up to 40% of your water consumption, thus taking the burden off your heating system. Similarly, a multi-setting showerhead (with pulse, spray, pause, turbo pulse, etc.) can save water. A water saving toilet lets homeowners save up to 25% of their water consumption. Energy experts say you’ll see the energy savings from these devices after they pay for themselves within the first few months.
Solar battery chargers are great devices to save energy using off-grid power. For instance, the “solar egg” can reach over a 90% charge in just four hours of sun, which can be used to power up mobile phones, computers, digital cameras and other electronics. Not only can these save you money on your energy bills at home, but they can also be extremely helpful when you need power outdoors, far from electrical outlets, and they produce no pollutants to boot! The Voltaic Systems Solar Backpack is another amazing invention. One hour of sunlight will charge your phone long enough for you to make a few calls. However, a full 10-hour charge can provide up to 55 hours of stored energy! With several different adapters, you can easily plug in your MP3 player, computer, cell phone or other electronic device. Some of the more expensive $500 bags can even charge laptops, but you can find more basic versions for $75 to $250.
By Cyndi Wagner