It’s important to look at how much energy different things in your home are using and find ways to optimize that use. If you are looking to save some money or just want to be more environmentally friendly, try some of the tips listed below.
Unplug appliances and electronics
Objects like TVs, computers, chargers, and kitchen appliances all consume energy when plugged in, even when they’re turned off or not being used. Simply pulling out the plug when you’re done with something can save a lot of energy.
Use power strips
By plugging multiple objects and appliances into a power strip with an on/off switch, you can easily turn off these things with a single flip. Smart power strips, which automatically turn off when electronics are off or when one main unit (like a personal computer) is powered down, are easy to find and are very efficient.
Turn off lights
This one might seem obvious, but always remember to turn off the lights when not in use. If you’re not in the room or not in your house, there’s no need to have them on.
Clean and replace furnace or air conditioner filters
When your filters are dirty, air flow can be blocked, which increases your energy bill. Additionally, properly maintaining your filters can avoid shortening equipment life.
Use shades and blinds
Blinds and cellular shades can be a useful way to naturally heat or cool a room and reduce energy loss through windows. In warmer months, keep the shades and blinds down on the south-, east-, and west-facing windows. In the colder months, open them up and let the sun in.
Activate “sleep” features
Most likely, your computer and other office equipment will have some sort of sleep feature that you can turn on. When they go unused for a long period of time, they will automatically power down, saving energy without you even having to act.
Lower the thermostat
Turning down the thermostat can save so much energy. If you’re chilly, wear a sweater around the house or sleep with an extra blanket at night instead of reaching for the thermostat.
Any time you can use a fan instead of air conditioning will help conserve energy. Even if you can only combine the use of a fan with a little less air-conditioning to lower the temperature, you’ll still be saving a lot of energy.
Wash laundry with cold water
Most articles of clothing are just fine being washed in cold water, and it’s actually better to wash delicate fabrics and dark, colorful fabrics this way. Along with being less likely to shrink, wrinkle, and fade clothes, this practice saves a good deal of energy.
For more useful energy- and money-saving tips, check out the Alliance to Save Energy and subscribe to their free online newsletter.