No matter where you live you know as well as anyone that energy bills aren’t cheap. Reports say the prices are set to continue climbing in all areas of the country. As utilities bills get more expensive, it forces homeowners to get creative in their attempts to use less energy. The first option to decrease your bills is obviously to decrease consumption. The second option is to make changes so that your home is more eco-friendly. According to this news report, cheaper alternative energy sources are on the way, but until they are here, it’s time to conserve.
Below are 7 easy ways to solve at least some of your energy problems.
1. Utilize area carpets and rugs. One of the reasons we turn up the heat in the winter is because we think it’s colder than it is in our homes. Tile floor, in particular, does 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 will keep you from running to the thermostat and cranking up the heat.
2. Keep blinds and shades open during the day and closed at night. By keeping your blinds and shades open during the day, you will let in valuable, beautiful, and free light. With all of this natural light filling your living space, there will less need, or no need, for the use of artificial lighting during the day. At night, close the blinds and shades to keep the cold air out. Each of these tips will help you save on your electricity bill.
3. Plant a tree. Planting a tree or trees near the windows of your home will create natural shade that will block 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.
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 much longer. Second, heat is reflected away from your home as well, lowering the overall temperature. This will help remove the temptation of cranking up the AC on those long, hot summer days.
5. Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils. Refrigerator maintenance isn’t the most common of 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 will help your refrigerator to run more efficiently, saving you money on utility bills.
6. 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 will help to cut back on water usage and help to lower your utility bills some.
7. Choose pale colors for your décor. 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 for reflecting that incoming light. This means you can use softer wattage light bulbs that use less electricity to light your home. On particularly bright days, you may not even need any indoor lights at all.
There are hundreds of small things like the tips above that any home own can do 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 come and the better off the environment is in the long run.