This is a collaborative post.
To make a real difference in the world, we don’t need a few people to be doing everything perfectly; we need many people doing a few things right. You can start to become more eco-friendly and reduce your carbon footprint by creating cutting your energy costs.
Not only will starting with your energy consumption help you make a positive impact on the environment, but it will also save you hundreds of dollars each year. Here are the simple steps you can take right now to cut your home energy use.
Re-Evaluate Your Plan
If you live in a deregulated state, or a place that has natural energy sources (wind and solar, for example), look at making a switch. In many areas, it’s actually more affordable to take advantage of green plans than using traditional electricity providers (source: https://www.energybot.com/green/).
Re-evaluate your plan and determine if there’s an energy alternative that works for you. Some plans will also offer discounts and rebates for staying under a certain consumption threshold.
Adjust the Temperature
Sometimes the smallest changes have a significant impact over time. Adjust the temperatures in your home by a few degrees. For example, turn your heater down a few degrees in the winter and your air conditioning up a few degrees in the summer.
Other temperature adjustments that have a significant impact include your water heater and oven temperature. Turn your water heater temperature down a few degrees or swap it out for an on-demand, tankless water heater. Turn your oven off a few minutes early and use the residual heat for cooking your food. These simple practices can save you hundreds of dollars over time.
Install a Clothesline or Drying Rack
Cutting back on your dryer use is an effective way to reduce your energy costs. Instead, opt for a clothesline or a drying rack. You can get portable drying racks that can be placed near heaters or outside for maximum effectiveness. These are also great tools for people who live in apartments.
Many people object to using clotheslines because they don’t like how their clothes feel when they dry. If this is a concern for you, dry your clothing 90% of the way on a rack or line, and toss them into the dryer at a reduced temperature setting for five minutes to soften them.
Seal and Block Your Windows
Windows are a point of vulnerability when it comes to energy costs and savings. The simple effort of sealing windows with plastic can make a significant difference throughout the colder months of the year.
However, it’s also essential to consider the windows during the summer. Use thick, dark curtains to block the sun’s rays while at work during the day. This can help with temperature control and reduce the need for air conditioning. If you have extra drafty windows, consider leaving them sealed year-round.
Use Power Bars for Phantom Energy
Even when your electronics aren’t in use, they’re still using energy. Simple things like the light on your Blu Ray player and the clock on the microwave use energy over time. Many electronics use residual energy so that they’re ready to go when you click the on button.
Use power bars for your electronics and click them off when not in use. Unplug things like your toaster and coffee maker when they aren’t in use to reduce phantom consumption further. Rather than leaving your phone charger plugged in after you’ve taken your phone, be sure to remove it from the wall as well so that you aren’t paying to charge air.
Small Changes Equal Big Differences
When it comes to cutting energy costs, every little bit helps. These small changes can add up to save you hundreds of dollars each year. Start by making simple swaps and increasing your efforts as time goes by.