Everyone wants to make more money and spend less. Aside from making good investments, a good way to keep money in your bank is by increasing your energy-efficiency. While installing solar panels might be an excellent way to drastically cut back on energy use, there are several free solutions that can help you save energy and save money each month. Every energy-efficient improvement, no matter how big or small has an impact on your energy costs. Follow these simple tips to see how much money you can save this year.
Reduce the temperature on your hot water heater
It is recommended that you set your hot water heater at a temperature no greater than 120 degrees. Heating water can account for 14 to 25 percent of energy consumption in your home. For households with only one or two members, you can get away with setting your hot water heater to 115 degrees without losing any level of comfort.
Switch energy suppliers
If you live in an area with a deregulated energy market, you can choose which supplier provides your energy. This means you have the ability to choose among energy providers based on the prices, plans and customer service options they can offer you. Deregulated areas are usually competitive, meaning you could walk away with a lower energy rate than you are currently paying. Ultimately, if you find a lower rate, you could pay less for energy each month.
Unplug unused devices
You may have heard of the term vampire energy, it refers to the energy that electronic devices continue to suck out of a power outlet when they are turned off. This is why you often see a red light on your TV or coffeemaker, even when you have switched them off. To eliminate the energy used by these devices, make sure you unplug them. Taking away their power source is the only way to keep them from wasting money and running up your energy bill.
Control temperatures in your home
Heating and cooling can account for more than a third of your energy costs each month. If you want to see a big impact on your energy bill, you should consider adjusting your thermostat. It is recommended that you set the temperature in your home at 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter for optimal energy-efficiency. Going even one degree warmer or cooler can add approximately 6 percent to your heating or cooling costs.
Keep your vents open
It’s a common misconception that closing the air vent in a room you are not using can save you money. In fact, closing air vents does just the opposite. Your heater or air conditioner will produce the same amount of air regardless of how many vents you have open. Closing a vent forces more air through the open vents in your home, or could force air to leak from the unit. This decreases energy efficiency, which makes the unit work harder than it should and costs you more money. Eventually, this could cause you to have issues with your unit and you could have to replace it. Bottom line, keep all your air vents open to optimize efficiency and save money on repairs later on.
Only clean full loads of dishes
Wait until you have a full load of dishes before starting the dishwasher. The machine uses the same amount of hot water for each load. So while you can’t eliminate the water costs or the water heating expenses, you can reduce the number of loads you do each month. If you wait to do the dishes only when you have a full load, you can reduce the number of times you do dishes, and limit the costs over time. Instead of using the dry cycle, open up the dishwasher to allow the dishes to air dry. This can save energy for the unit and reduce your energy costs.
Take shorter showers
Heating water typically makes up 18% of your energy use so an easy way to cut back on energy costs, is to reduce your shower times. An average shower uses seven gallons of water per minute. If you reduce your shower time by just two minutes, you could save 14 gallons of hot water each day. That is 5110 gallons of water heating each year that you could avoid paying for. It’s amazing how much 2 minutes could save you!
Have you tried any of these methods to save money and be more eco-friendly?