Efficient Tips to Save Energy and Money
Looking to conserve energy and save money? The following energy efficient ways can help you reduce your power bill in order to save energy and money.
Turn off your computer at night
Turning off your computer at night could save you up to a third of its energy costs, depending on your use and power settings. According to Xcel Energy, this could save up to $65 per year. Plus turning off your monitor, printer, and other home office machines will equal greater savings. Plugging all these devices into one power strip makes shutting them all off at one time easier to do.
Set your computer to “sleep mode” when not in use
Running your computer and monitor constantly throughout the year wastes a significant amount of electricity. However, a computer idling in “sleep” mode uses less than half the energy of an active computer. Savings of up to $60 per year. Good to know: Screensavers do not save power. A computer running a screensaver uses just as much energy as an active computer, so it’s better to put the computer to sleep.
Unplug electronics when they’re not in use and use power strips
Save up to $50 a year by unplugging devices and chargers when they are not in use. Many electronic devices continue to draw power even when they are turned off. The energy some electronics draw while they are off is called a “phantom load.” Products that waste electricity this way are often called “vampire devices.” A power strip in an easy-to-reach location will enable you to cut off and restore power more easily. You can also purchase a power strip with a remote control, or a “smart strip” that will automatically shut off power when a central device is idle—like the computer in your home office or the TV in your entertainment system.
Set your thermostat to 68°F in the winter and Set your thermostat to 78°F in the summer
You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting. A programmable or smart thermostat helps maximize savings and convenience. With savings of up to $50 each, controlling your thermostat year-round could add up to $100 per year.
Adjust the display on your television
New televisions are originally set to look best on the showroom floor. However, these bright display modes are often unnecessary for your home and use a considerable amount of energy. Adjusting your TV’s display settings can significantly reduce its power use without compromising picture quality. Options like “dynamic” or “vivid” are usually high-power settings. Others, such as “cinema,” “movie” or “pro” provide appropriate brightness while using considerably less energy. According to Excel Energy, the savings here can add up to $25 per year.
Move furniture and drapes away from baseboard heaters and keep them clean
There may be furniture directly in front of the baseboard heaters along your wall. Blocking the heater this way can reduce the heat that reaches the room, so you pay more for energy but feel less warm. Similarly, a dirty baseboard heater will not be as efficient as a clean one. Doing this could potentially save up to $20 per year.
Spotlight your work spaces and use task-lighting
Overhead bulbs can brighten a space, but often use more light than you really need. Using a kitchen counter light while preparing dinner, or a small lamp to read a book, brings better light to the task at hand and saves energy. Many task lamps are compatible with energy-efficient bulbs, especially light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Unlike other bulbs, LEDs emit light in a specific direction, making them ideal for task lighting and saving money. Potential savings equal up to $25 per year.
Hang laundry to dry, use cold water for washing clothes and be mindful of load size
About 90% of the energy consumed for washing clothes is used to heat the water. Unless your clothes have oily stains, washing with cold or warm water will clean your clothes just as effectively. Wash full laundry loads whenever possible. Most load sizes use about the same amount of energy, so running fewer, larger loads helps avoid waste. These strategies can save up to $30 per year.
Turn off lights when you leave the room
No doubt you’ve heard this one before! In an average home, lighting accounts for nearly 9% of electricity costs. Turning lights off when you’re not in the room is a simple way for you to make a dent in your utility bill. Savings of up to $15 per year.
Reduce your water heater’s temperature
Water heating accounts for up to 20% of a typical home’s total energy use. You can save up to 22% of energy spent on water heating annually by lowering the temperature of your water heater. Check the owner’s manual for safety instructions before making any changes to your water heater’s settings. If the temperature is above 120 degrees, proceed with instructions for lowering the temperature for energy savings. Many default settings are set to 140 degrees, though 120 degrees will be ok for most people. This can save up to $15 per year.
Run full dishwasher loads
Your dishwasher uses a great deal of energy, especially for heating water. Run full loads. Air drying saves about 15% of your dishwasher’s total energy use. Instead of using the “heat dry” function of your washer, air dry your dishes or towel them off. Avoid special cycles. Avoid using rinse-hold and pre-rinse features, which increase the amount of energy and water the dishwasher uses. Wipe instead of rinse. If your dishes have excess food on them, scrape off the debris instead of rinsing it off before putting them in the dishwasher to save on hot water costs. Modern dishwashers are powerful enough to clean your dishes without your having to rinse them beforehand. Save time and energy. Don’t fall into the habit of hand-washing instead of machine washing. Energy Star certified dishwashers use less water than hand washing and can save you hundreds of hours per year and over $10 per year.
Lots more ways to save up to $10 each per year
Close your shades in the summer, turn your water heater off or down when you’re away, set your refrigerator’s temperature to 38°F, open your shades on winter days for natural light and warmth, clean your refrigerator coils, block drafts of cold air around your doors and shave a minute off shower time (reducing average shower time by 1 minute can result in a 13% decrease in shower water use).
Though there are plenty more tips than what’s listed here, these energy conservation tips for saving energy and money can total to more than $400 per year per household!
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