There are plenty of ways to cut energy costs in your home. Some options include larger changes that create a big impact, like installing solar panels. Other options are not for the faint of heart, like eliminating hot showers. However, there are just as many ways to cut energy costs in your home that are easier to implement and don’t involve big sacrifices. In fact, many of the changes you can make are ones you’ll hardly notice. Though they may be small, the energy savings is worth the change, and the impact on the environment is extremely important.
By updating your faucets and water use, being diligent about responsible heating and cooling, changing your lighting and electronic use, watching how you use your home appliances, and utilizing smart home technology, you can cut your energy costs without making yourself or anyone else in your home go without.
Updating Your Faucets and Water Use
We use water for many things around the home: yard work, laundry, cleaning dishes, bathing, drinking, etc. Updating your water use doesn’t have to mean abandoning your grass or saying goodbye to long showers. There are several easier fixes you can implement to do your part for energy conservation and cutting energy costs. For one, be sure your water heater isn’t set too high or too low. You can also fit your faucets with aerators or buy a low-flow showerhead. Both options are inexpensive, and you’ll hardly notice the change.
There are also plenty of changes you can make to how you use water. Water your lawn less often — only in the morning or at night so you’re not wasting the water that will evaporate when it’s hot. Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth, and fix any leaks in your plumbing right away. These changes are easy to do and won’t make you feel deprived.
Managing Your Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling can be a major drain on your energy costs in the winter and during the summer. However, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your heating or air conditioning. By making some updates around your home, you can manage your heating and cooling systems without forcing you to be too hot or too cold. For one, be sure you have weatherized your windows and doors to maintain your temperature. You can also install a ceiling fan to keep temperatures down or purchase curtains to keep heat in. Work with an HVAC technician who can repair HVAC issues and keep up with maintenance to ensure your heating and cooling systems are working correctly and not wasting energy.
On top of that, there are some changes you can make yourself. Even adjusting your thermostat one degree can help with your efficiency. Work towards finding a temperature that will be a compromise between energy savings and comfortability. You can also make sure you’re only heating or cooling rooms you are using. You don’t have to keep your heat or A/C off; you just have to make small changes that make an impact without affecting your comfort.
Changing Lighting and Use of Electronics
Cutting energy costs in your home doesn't mean you should limit yourself to life by candlelight. There are small changes you can make that can limit your light usage without literally putting yourself back in the dark ages. Replacing all of your current bulbs with energy-saving light bulbs can save you money in the long term without you even noticing a difference in your lighting. You can also focus on turning lights off when you’re not using them, using solar lights in your yard, or utilizing natural light when possible.
Electronics can be a drain on your energy even when you’re not using them. Electronics like coffee pots or phone chargers are notorious energy-suckers, so try unplugging them when you’re not actively using them. One easy way to do this is to put a bulk of your electronics on an energy-saving power cord so you only have to flip one switch on and off instead of unplugging different cords all the time.
Watching How You Use Home Appliances
Home appliances are a necessity in many cases, but how you use them and which ones you buy are aspects you can control without sacrificing their use. For one, you should always look for the ENERGY STAR label on all appliances. This designation proves that the appliance meets a standard of efficiency. In fact, most dishwashers are so energy efficient that it’s better to use a dishwasher than to wash your dishes by hand. Instead of washing clothes as you need them, wait and use your washer when you have a full load available in order to save energy and use less water.
If you’re looking to upgrade any of your appliances, don’t just focus on an ENERGY STAR label; prioritize energy savings in your purchases. Newer dryers have a sensor that stops when your clothes are dry instead of relying on a timer, for instance. You can also work on air-drying your clothes and putting them in the dryer for a shorter amount of time. What you buy is just as important as how you use it.
Taking Advantage of Smart Home Technology
All of these easy changes to cut energy costs are doable without sacrificing your comfort. You can still have a warm house, a pot of coffee in the morning, and a hot bath every now and again. If you want your small changes to be even easier, you might consider implementing smart home technology. These tech advances are not only created to make your life easier but also to make your life more energy efficient. As the internet of things expands into our daily lives, home automation will allow you to remotely monitor and adjust air conditioning and other energy usage in your home more easily.
Not only does home automation make it easier to track your home’s energy efficiency, it also helps you control your energy use more easily. You can control your thermostat remotely and utilize energy-saving practices with timers and sensors. Though there are plenty of ways to cut energy costs without smart home technology, it’s an option that provides even fewer issues with comfort.
For some, the idea of cutting energy costs can seem daunting. It might feel like you have to cut a bulk of your energy use to make an impact and that the effort would be impossible to maintain. However, each small change makes a large impact on energy use, and the impact is even more substantial if you’re able to maintain long-term change. You don’t have to sacrifice your comfort to cut your energy costs; you just have to make the small changes and watch your energy bill dip. The added perk is that with each penny saved, the environment profits as well.