When it comes to saving money on your energy bills, there are a lot of things you can do—some big, some small. While you might not be able to afford solar panels or a brand-new energy-efficient fridge right away, there are a few simple and easy things you can do to conserve energy in your home and reduce your monthly utility bills.
Here are 12 home energy-saving tips that anyone can follow to start saving money.
1) Change Habits
The first way to save energy at home is to change your habits. Have a quick family meeting and brainstorm ways to lower your energy bills together.
Here are some simple areas you and your family can change:
- Turn lights off when you leave a room
- Unplug electronics that aren’t in use
- Limit the use of energy using appliances, like the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer for non-peak times
- Use cold water versus hot water as often as possible
- Use the A/C or heat less often when no one is home
- Take showers instead of baths
These changes, while small, can add up to significant savings. The key is to be consistent with your long-term efforts to change your energy bills.
2) Turn Ceiling Fans Off
Most people assume running a ceiling fan keeps the room cool, but that’s a myth. Ceiling fans only keep people cool, not rooms. It’s a waste of energy to keep fans on when no one is in the room.
Make it a family room to shut the fan off before leaving the room and watch your energy bills drop.
3) Move Lamps Away from the Thermostat
If you have lamps or other heat-generating appliances near your thermostat, it will mistakenly think the house is hotter than it is. This causes your A/C to run more often than necessary. Instead, move the lamps and let the thermostat do its job rather than overworking.
4) Install Power Strips
Use a power strip if you have areas of your home with many items plugged in. Then, shut the power strip off when the items aren’t in use or before you leave for the day. This stops the small appliances from pulling electricity from the wall socket, helping you save money on energy.
You can also install smart power strips that automatically determine when the electronics aren’t in use and shut them down to save energy. Again, the upfront investment could save you money long-term.
5) Vacuum Air Intake Vents
Periodically, vacuum air intake vents to eliminate the dust buildup. Also, ensure there isn’t anything covering your vents to stop proper airflow. This ensures the house gets warmer or colder depending on the season, with limited use of the utilities.
6) Keep your Thermostat as High as Possible in the Summer
Your home should feel cooler than outside when you run the A/C, but it doesn’t need to be excessively cold. Reduce the difference between the temperature outside and inside, and you could save hundreds of dollars on your utility bills.
7) Consider a Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat requires an upfront investment, but it can save you money on utility bills for many years. First, program your thermostat so your utilities run less during the day when everyone is at work and school. Then set it to heat or cool the house back up an hour or so before the family returns.
Also, consider setting it to use less energy at night when everyone is asleep or let the thermostat determine when it should use less energy.
8) Seal Cracks and Openings
If your windows feel drafty or your doors leak air, add weatherstripping or caulk around the perimeter of the windows and doors to stop the drafts. Leaks from the outside only let hot and cool air inside your home, making your A/C and furnace work harder.
Caulking the leaks allows your A/C and furnace to work less. If you aren’t sure where the drafts originate, bring a match to each window and door. If the flame flickers, that’s where you have a leak.
9) Strategically Plant Trees around your Home
Trees aren’t just pretty to look at; they can help lower your utility bills. Strategically plant trees to give your home more shade, and your A/C won’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool in the summer.
10) Close Vents in Unused Rooms
If you have unused rooms in your home, close the vents in them. Why waste energy heating and cooling the rooms if no one uses them? Instead, use the energy in the rooms you use most often.
11) Change your Air Filter Regularly
Regularly changing your air filter allows the air to flow freely throughout your home. When air can flow freely, you’ll use less energy and reduce your bills.
12) Turn the Water Heater Temperature Down
Hot showers and hot water to wash dishes are great, but it doesn’t have to be scalding. Lower the hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees and save hundreds of dollars on energy costs each year.
Saving money on energy bills isn’t as hard as it seems. You don’t even have to sacrifice in most cases.
It just takes a few tweaks to your habits and how you handle your energy resources. For example, unplugging items, shutting lights off, changing how you use fans, and minimizing how much you must use the A/C and furnace can save you on your monthly bills and the wear and tear on your units.
The less energy you use, the more money you save, and the easier it is to do your part, lessening your carbon footprint on the environment.