This is the time of year when we take one look at our monthly energy bill and go running for the hills. The rising cost of energy can be daunting. We all want to cut your consumption and keep big bills at bay, but how do we do that?
Here are a few simple tips to help you use energy efficiently and save money on your household bills:
Insulate Your AtticThe U.S. Department of Energy says that the attic is the place from which the majority of the heat in your home escapes, which makes sense because heat rises. If you want to keep more of the heat you’re paying to generate in your home so that you can use your home heating more efficiently, consider adding extra insulation to your attic. By doing so, you could cut your energy consumption by as much as 20 percent.
Install Solar PanelsInstead of paying electricity companies vast sums to keep your home running, why not harness the power of the sun instead? If you live in an area that gets lots of sun, you could generate most of your energy needs with well-placed solar panels , and you’ll never have to worry about your energy bills spiraling out of control again.
Apply Weather StrippingWeather stripping is fast, inexpensive, and easy to install, and it is great at keeping those pesky drafts out. Apply it to all of your doors and windows and no longer will the wind be able to get in or your hot air out, unless you want it to.
Change Your LightbulbsYou can cut the amount of energy you use to light up your home by as much as 75 percent simply by changing the light bulbs from incandescent to CFL or LED bulbs. You’ll get the same level of light, just with a smaller price tag and a smaller carbon footprint.
Invest in a Programmable ThermostatYou could save 10 percent on your future utility bills by installing a programmable thermostat which will give you more control than ever over the temperature of your home and allow you to make small adjustments that will add up to big savings.
Use Cold Water for WashingWhen you’re doing the laundry, if your clothes aren’t heavily soiled, try washing them in cold water. Shockingly, 90 percent of the energy a washing machine used goes towards heating the water, so by making this one change, you can quickly rack up the savings. Your clothes will be just as clean too!
Fill the DishwasherIf you’re looking to cut the cost of your energy use, you should never ever run your dishwasher unless it’s full. Dishwashers work at their best and most efficient when they are full, but not overloaded.
Purchase Energy Star AppliancesAppliances that have been Energy Star rated use far less energy than non-rated models, and they can usually be purchased for a similar price. We recently replaced our stove, and I was astounded by how much less gas we used with an upgraded, energy efficient appliance. So, next time you need a new washer, fridge or stove, check for an Energy Star rating first.
Use the MicrowaveThe microwave gets a bad rap sometimes, but when you’re looking to save energy, it can be a godsend. On average, a microwave uses 50 percent less energy to cook your meals than your stove, so even using it for a few meals a week will make all the difference.
What steps do you take to ensure that your energy bills don’t get too high?