We all know that we really need to do more around the home to save energy – but where do we begin? Cutting down on your energy consumption is a great way to reduce your overall utility costs. Below are 19 tips to enable you to save energy and in turn save money and contribute to saving the environment. It is much easier to have build-in energy measures during the house plan design stages but what about an existing structures? Below you will find 19 energy saving tips to help you get started. Some tips are easy to achieve, while others require more investment and effort. But all these tips guarantee you huge energy savings over the years.
Get yourself into the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. This could save you a lot of money every year simply by remembering to turn things off.
Consider having a shower rather than your daily soak in the tub. It will surprise you just how much energy you are able to save in this way. You might also want to look into installing low-flow showerheads and faucets.
Note that 85-90% of the energy consumed when washing clothes goes into heating the water. When doing your laundry, switch the washer to cold to saving money, the environment and energy saving. Take a look at the settings on your washing machine to see if there is a ‘half load’ option that washes clothes in small amounts. If not, only wash full loads of clothes. Go for a front loading washing machine. Not only does this save water, but energy too by using approximately 40% less water and 50% less energy. Use modern washing powders that are strong enough to let you select a lower temperature on your washing machine as well.
Get your geyser a new insulation blanket/jacket of the recommended thickness of 75mm that will keep the water hotter for longer, as well as reduce your bills for energy. The blanket is not expensive and could earn you good energy saving each year, thereby paying for itself in just a couple of months.
Also try turning down your general thermostat settings as well when no one is at home or while you’re asleep at night. Twenty one degrees centigrade should be good enough. If you are used to having your house warmer than this with the thermostat set at 24 or 25 degrees centigrade, try turning it down one degree at a time for a period of several weeks. Keep in mind that each degree you turn it down could save you a good amount on your annual heating bill. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that consistently lowers the heat when you do not need it. This could help you save 2% on your heating bill for every degree centigrade you turn down, and provide you with good annual energy saving as well.
Switch the heater off in rooms that you do not regularly use and be sure to also keep the internal doors shut. At all costs, avoid draughts and poorly insulated windows as these cause you to unnecessarily burn energy. Ensure that your heater is not blocked by furniture. This will enable you to make the best of the heat that you will inevitably have to pay for.
Avoid leaving your electrical goods such as laptops, mobile phones and iPod charges on standby as they could still be consuming energy. Switch them off or unplug them once they are charged fully as this is a good way to make your home even more energy efficient. Keep in mind that if your charger features an LED that shows that it is still in use, this means that it is still consuming energy until you switch it off at the wall.
If you use a dishwasher, wait until it is loaded fully before you start it. Remember that if you run the dishwasher overnight, it will continue to consume energy until you switch it off in the morning. Consider investing in a timer plug instead that you can run automatically for shorter time periods.
Consider investing in an energy monitor that will enable you to track the amount of energy you are consuming. Energy monitors are also able to pinpoint any inefficient, wasteful appliances in your home. A monitor will not cost you too much, but if you detect ways in which to quickly save energy, the monitor could easily pay for itself within a year. Energy monitors are also ideal for educating other occupants of your house on energy saving habits as a way of keeping bills low.
A draught excluder is ideal for keeping out chilly draughts that tend to sneak in around the doors and windows. Thermal or heavy curtains are of great help during the cold winter months, in addition to key hole covers and letter box covers. All these work well in keeping out cold chills and keeping in the warm air.
The new energy-efficient bulbs utilize less electricity than the old-fashioned ones. Swapping your old bulbs for the new energy-efficient variety could save you a good amount on the lifetime of your bulbs.
Keep the furnace clean, lubricated and well adjusted with some annual maintenance. An air conditioner that works at peak efficiency uses less energy and costs less to operate. Cleaning or replacing the filter every one to two months is important. A dirty filter will reduce the airflow and will force your air conditioner to run for much longer in heating the home. Consider investing in a new ENERGY STAR qualified air conditioner that comes with a variable speed motor.
Use weather stripping to provide a barrier between the movable and fixed sections of windows and doors. Be sure to apply the weather stripping to operable exterior doors, windows, garage doors, as well as doors that lead to your attic.
If your basement or crawlspace is unfinished, inspect for leaks by checking for spider webs. The presence of a web means that there is a draft. Un-insulated basements also result in the loss of large amounts of heat. Be sure to add insulation to the walls of your basement.
As a natural source of heat, the sun is your best bet in reducing your heating bills and for energy saving. During sunny days, be sure to open the drapes that face the sun and allow the light inside. If you have large windows that do not receive direct sunlight, be sure to leave the drapes closed. Always leave your drapes and blinds closed at night to prevent the escape of warm air, thereby keeping your home warmer for longer.
Plug in any gaps around your ducts, pipes, vents and fans that go through your walls, floors and ceilings from spaces that are heated to those that are unheated.
Be sure to close the damper in order to prevent the warm air from escaping through the chimney, and make sure that the damper properly fits.
Apply a caulk or sealant around the windows, doorframes, joints and sills. During windy days, feel around for leaks or light up some incense sticks to assist you in identifying leaks around the vents, windows, exterior doors and electrical outlets. Also look for spider webs as these are an indicator of the presence of draft. Prevent the loss of heat on windows using plastic window covers. Remove any obstacles to the free flow of heat through the home such as drapes, rugs and furniture close to heating vents and return air grills.
Keep in mind that the sun tends to warm up some rooms but not others. It is therefore important to leave open internal doors such that warm air is able to circulate throughout your home.
You have the power to save both energy and money right there inside your home. The good news is that there is an abundance of energy saving, efficient technologies available on the market today. These technologies enable you to use clean renewable energy to power your home, instead of the traditional non-renewable dirty energy sources that cost more as well.
Keep in mind that with the energy saving you are able to achieve will ultimately depend on your current activities as well as the number of overall changes you decide to make. By following the tips above, you can make your home a more comfortable place that is easier to heat and cool, while saving you money.