Everyone needs a break on their energy bills, but people often think that saving money on energy requires costly upgrades or inconvenient life changes. The struggle between convenience and savings is a difficult balance to maintain, but there are numerous steps you can take to reduce your energy footprint without sacrificing your happiness. Best of all, these solutions require little to no upfront financial investment.
Save the heat-generating appliances for the coolest part of the day
The dishwasher and the dryer are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to heating up your house. During the summer, run the cycles overnight so the air conditioner doesn’t have to work overtime.
Utilize efficient loading
Waiting until the dishwasher or washing machine are completely full before running them is something we could probably all be better about. A little extra time spent arranging your dishes optimally can add up to big savings over time.
Make dinner in the slow-cooker
No one wants to stand next to a hot oven in the summer. Instead, invest a little time in the morning to put your dinner in a slow cooker, and it will be ready when you get home. Modern slow cookers are very energy efficient, especially compared to electric ranges.
Adjust the thermostat when you don’t need it
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, you can likely upgrade to one for less than you think. Use it to adjust the settings on your heat and air conditioning while you’re at work. Even a few degrees can make a significant difference on your energy cost.
Keep the dial on your washing machine turned to cold
Numerous studies are showing that it’s not really necessary to wash clothes in hot water. Washing only in cold water will instantly turn your washing machine into an energy-saving dynamo.
Cool off with fans
If you have ceiling fans, they are excellent for improving air flow in your home and allowing the heating and air conditioning units to do their jobs better. Otherwise, inexpensive desk or stand fans can make you feel cooler, even if the thermostat is turned up a few degrees.
Change your air filters frequently
If air filters are working properly, they’re naturally going to become saturated with debris quickly, resulting in inefficient heating and cooling. Most experts recommend monthly replacement, but even checking them seasonally can have an impact.
Check the insulation
Air is a powerful force, and it will find any way possible to get into your home. Something as simple as applying fresh weather-stripping to windows and doors can protect your home from the heat and cold.
The light bulbs of the future are here, so use them!
Replacing your old-fashioned bulbs with compact fluorescents requires a minimal upfront investment, but it can save you much more over the life of the bulbs.
Clean your air ducts and vents
Your HVAC unit may be using extra energy to try and push air through blocked ducts and vents. A quick cleaning session can markedly improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling.