Saving energy in your home will not only save you money. It will also reduce carbon emissions in our atmosphere, help the environment, lower your carbon foot print and all around make the planet a healthier place. Wouldn’t you do all of this if you were told it would make your wallet fatter too?
The ways we can reduce our energy-consumption in residential as well as commercial properties are to do the following:
- Time Your Cool Air - Many thermostats are able to be set on timers. If you’re unsure how to do this, google your specific model or check the instruction manual as there could be plenty of simple functions that you are not aware of. Reading up on your A/C is always a good idea, and then you can raise the temperature 5-7 degrees for the hours that you are not home during the day! This could reduce your overall bill by 10-15% and no one’s home to enjoy that cold air anyway.
- Check Airflow – You could have something blocking the thermostat or air filters. If you have a couch, table, etc. in front of your thermostat, the airflow is not reaching the rest of the house with ease. This makes your A/C unit work significantly harder and raises your bill.
- Dehumidify – We know the new craze is to purchase humidifiers and spread essential oils around the house instead of harmful chemicals in candles. Although humidifiers may be necessary depending on how dry your climate is, often the humidity makes your house hotter. If you want to cool things off, consider purchasing a dehumidifier or fans for the areas in which extreme heat and steam are created (bathrooms and kitchen).
- Switch to Smart – Smart power strips are an easy switch that allow you to control whatever is plugged in from anywhere that you can connect to your phone’s Wi-Fi. The New York Times writes, “In commercial buildings alone, where annual electricity costs are roughly $190 billion, about 30 percent of this energy goes to waste.” It is estimated that 75% of the household’s energy is being wasted through plugged in appliances when they’re not being used. Either unplug things or switch to smart plugs which will conserve energy and lower your bill.
- Minimize Hot Water – Everyone savors a good shower, but it could be costing you (and the environment) a lot. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that around 17% of water use in homes is due to showering and the U.S. alone is wasting 1.2 gallons of water each year. At 2.5 gallons spent per shower, consider shortening your shower and noticing the savings over time.
A few bonus tips are:
- Start composting - In recent years, the EPA has estimated that over 23 million tons of waste have been recovered through composting.
- Unplug things when you’re not using them – this is a major waste of energy as well as a fire hazard.
- Seal your windows or consider adding further insulation so your energy bill doesn’t have to work so hard for you (allow the home to do the savings on your behalf).
Some of these are small habits to incorporate into your everyday life, some are larger changes that will need to be made. With a small adjustment, you will see lasting results in your energy bills, money saved, and the bonus of feeling proud for doing your part to help the environment!