Saving energy doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming, inconvenient or expensive. You’ll be surprised to know the little things you can do to save on your electric bill.
It took me awhile to get in the habit of doing these simple life hacks, but after seeing my savings, I am never going back. These tricks cost little to no money and don’t take much time. You can save energy and money! Cha-ching! That’s music to every family’s ears.
Ready to get started?
1. Turn off the lights –When you leave a room, hit the light switch! If you tend to forget to turn the lights off, think about installing occupancy sensors that will automatically turn off the light when no one is in the room. Bathroom and laundry room lights were notoriously left on in my house. Not any more, thanks to my occupancy sensors.
2. Use energy-saving light bulbs –Try switching to energy-efficient LEDs. The light-emitting diode bulbs use less energy than traditional incandescents and can last for more than 20 years.
3. Shut off computers – If a computer won’t be in use for over two hours, remember to turn it off or unplug it. If you are just stepping away for a few minutes, put your computer in sleep or hibernate mode rather than a screen saver. Screen savers don’t save energy.
4. Use smart power strips – Plug your devices into a smart strip. These smart strips work especially well for entertainment centers. They will automatically turn your DVD player, game system and other peripherals off when you shut off the television. If you have a regular power strip, simply turn the power strip off to turn off all the devices at the same time. Devices left on are wasting energy and your money.
5. Use your windows – Instead of cranking up the air conditioning at night, leave the windows open. Nighttime is naturally cooler than daytime. On a breezy day, open up the windows to get a nice breeze to cool you down.
6. Unplug phone chargers – I know I’m guilty of unplugging my phone from the charger but leaving the charger in the outlet. I had no idea this wasted energy! It only takes a second to unplug the charger from the wall, so it is really an easy fix.
7. Program your thermostat – When no one is home, why waste energy overly cooling or heating your home? Install a programmable thermostat. Program your thermostat to a higher temperature when the house is empty. You can save about 1-3 percent per degree, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
8. Wash laundry in cold water – Most of your washer’s energy use comes from heating the water, so use cold water whenever you can. Less energy equals more money in your pocket.
9. Landscaping – Plant trees to create shade and naturally cool your house. Besides making your house look prettier, it’ll help you lower your electric bill!
10. Keep air vents clear – Chances are, somewhere in your house a vent is being partially blocked by furniture. Take a few minutes to rearrange your furniture so that all vents are exposed for maximum efficiency or buy vent deflectors. They’re inexpensive and will redirect the air flow around obstructions.
11. Clean or change AC filters once a month – If you change or clean your filters regularly, your air conditioner will function at its best!
12. Use microwave to cook leftovers or small meals – Microwaves use much less energy than an oven, so if possible, heat up your food in the microwave.
13. Let dishes air dry – Use the dishwasher to wash your dishes, but set your dishwasher to the air dry mode.