Energy bills aren’t cheap regardless of where you live. Case in point: Texans have been getting insane power bills after the recent snowstorm that caused massive blackouts. In some instances, users got bills worth more than $15,000! However, you can make changes to save energy.
Indeed, reports indicate that energy prices are set to climb in most areas of the country. As utility bills get expensive, homeowners must get creative in reducing overall consumption and looking for cheaper sustainable power options such as solar power.
The first of the changes to save energy is, obviously, to reduce consumption. The second option involves making changes to your home to make it more Eco-friendly and sustainable over the long haul.
While cheaper Eco-friendly energy sources exist, most homes are yet to start enjoying their benefits. However, as you wait, here are ten small and easy ways to reduce your overall energy consumption around the house.
Make these simple changes to save energy at home
#1. Turn off the air conditioner when you’re not home.
When you’re away, turn off the air conditioner. It’s only consuming power without delivering benefits to anyone. Also, lower your thermostat by at least 3-5 degrees, mostly if you use electric heat. Reducing it by just five degrees could save you more than 10% of your energy bill, or roughly more than $120 annually.
#2. Do laundry only when there’s a full load.
This one’s a no-brainer. Unless you direly need that top or that pair of jeans tonight, don’t do a load of laundry until you know there’s enough to fill the whole machine. This helps to cut back on water usage and also helps to lower your utility bills.
#3. Take shorter showers.
Heating water is expensive. Now, imagine all the hot water your family uses on a typical day, especially in the shower.
If everyone in the family cuts their shower time by just a minute each, you could end up saving a lot on both Energy and water, an increasingly precious commodity.
#4. Use reflective window film.
There are a few benefits to using reflective window film. First, the film helps to protect furniture and carpets from becoming sun-damaged.
Because the light is reflected away from your furniture and carpets, they’ll look nicer for much longer.
Second, heat is reflected away from your home as well, lowering the overall temperature. This helps remove the temptation to crank up the AC on those long, hot summer days.
#5. Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils.
Refrigerator maintenance isn’t the most common household chores, but it’s not less important than the rest.
Twice a year, you should pull out your refrigerator and vacuum the coils on its backside.
The whole process should take about 10 minutes, even less if you stay on top of this chore, and helps your refrigerator run more efficiently, saving you money on utility bills.
#6. Keep blinds and shades open during the day and closed at night.
By keeping your blinds and shades open during the day, you let in valuable, beautiful, and free light.
With all of this natural light filling your living space, there’s less need, or no need at all, for artificial lighting during the day.
At night, close the blinds and shades to keep the cold air out. Each of these tips helps you save on your electricity bill.
#7. Choose pale colors for your decor.
To make the most of all that light, you’re letting in (because you’re keeping your shades open during the day now), decorate your home with soft tones. Soft tones are much better at reflecting incoming light.
This means you can use softer wattage light bulbs that use less electricity to light your home. On exceptionally bright days, you may not even need any indoor lights at all.
#8. Unplug devices and turn off unnecessary lights.
Electronic devices consume some power when plugged in, even when you’re not using them.
In fact, standby power accounts for more than 10% of a household’s annual energy costs, meaning that unplugging may save you more than $50 and above a year.
Simultaneously, turn off unnecessary bulbs and consider replacing all the bulbs in your home with LED light bulbs. These consume less energy and last longer.
#9. Plant a tree.
Planting a tree or trees near your home’s windows creates natural shade that blocks out the brutal sun on summer days.
In addition to getting a beautiful new dogwood or oak tree on your property, you get the added bonus of a reduced electricity bill each month because you let the shade cool your home instead of the air conditioner.
#10. Utilize area carpets and rugs.
We turn up the heat in the winter because we think it’s colder than it is in our homes. Tile floors, in particular, do not capture heat, so it’s cold to the touch when we walk on it barefoot.
Place an area rug over tile floors in your home in the winter to put something between the cold and your feet. This keeps you from running to the thermostat and cranking up the heat.
There are hundreds of changes to save energy like the tips above that any homeowner can make to make a more Eco-friendly home.
Challenge yourself to find and incorporate a new Eco-friendly change into your home every week.
Remember, the more you do, the less you pay when the utility bills arrive, and the better off the environment is in the long run.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.