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As energy costs get higher and higher it can feel overwhelming. Our state has just seen an increase in electricity, natural gas, water, and sewer. We are also facing another gas tax hike which would give us the proud reputation of having the highest gas tax in the country. Things are only going to go up and we have to manage our money even better to get through these times. That’s why I’ve put together a list of Energy Saving Tips for your Home.
Let’s talk about Energy Saving Tips for your Home, it doesn’t have to be a challenge to cause you stress. You can take steps every day to manage how your home uses energy. These little steps can add up to big savings, some are simple and effortless.
Energy Saving Tips for your home as the homeowner or head of the household:
Set your thermostat to 68 or lower when you are at home. Set it a few degrees lower than that when you sleep. You can always try a Smart Nest Learning Thermostat or an Emerson Wi-fi Smart Touch Thermostat that allows you to set it and forget it or raise or lower the temperature when you are not at home. The New smart thermostats have so many features that can help you keep the costs down, it’s worth a try.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees or lower. To help keep it warm, wrap it in a Water Heater Blanket if it’s in a cold area like a garage or basement.
Keep your heating system or air conditioning system running efficiently. If you have either one of those, regular maintenance can help them run at their highest efficiency. Regular maintenance can possibly help an emergency call later which is expensive. Fix it now while it’s still small.
Clean or replace your furnace or heat pump filters every 2 months for highest efficiency.
Keep areas in front of baseboards, wall heaters and vents clear and clean.
If you have vents or baseboards in rooms you don’t use. Turn them off or close them and shut the door.
If you need to purchase or replace an appliance, consider an Energy Star Certified Appliance. It might even save you money if they offer a rebate. We just replaced our furnace with a high-efficiency model, it came with a $350 rebate. That certainly doesn’t cover the cost of the furnace but every little bit helps.
Energy and water-saving tips:
Install low flow, high performance water aerators in sinks and showers to save water.
Take shorter showers and keep tabs on teens who love to take 1/2 hour showers. Threaten their screen time if you have to.
When running a bath for a little one or even yourself. Don’t let the cold water at the beginning go down the drain. Plug the bathtub, turn the water on. Even if it’s cold for a little bit use hot water to even it out. Waiting for the hot water lets gallons of cold water just get wasted down the drain.
Use the dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. Only run the dishwasher when it is absolutely full if possible.
Only run the clothes washer when you can do a full load. When you are ready to do a full load use cold water, most detergents are designed to do their best washing in cold water anyway.
When using the dryer avoid over-drying clothes, take them out right before they are finished and hang them to finish drying. Thoroughly clean out the lint trap every time. Your dryer runs more efficiently and you won’t start a fire.
Install motion sensor lights:
Install motion sensor lights. Maybe not in the front of your house but they could work in the back or behind the garage. You just want lights to come on if there is someone there that shouldn’t be there.
Install energy efficient bulbs. Our energy supplier has a deal all year long where you buy a large box of different sizes of bulbs and a discounted rate. We have taken advantage of that several times.
Decide if you really need that extra freezer or refrigerator in the basement or garage. That can add more than $100 per year to your energy bill. If you really want it but don’t keep it full all the time try to remember a full freezer or fridge is a more efficient freezer or fridge. Fill milk cartons with water to put in the freezer to take up space or even large pieces of styrofoam. The more empty space there is to cool the more expensive it is to run.
Energy Saving Tips anyone in the family can help with, including kids.
Get your kids on board with Energy Saving Tips for your Home. Make them feel like they are a part of it and they can make small changes too that can make a big difference.
TURN OFF LIGHTS is the biggest thing we can all do. Turn off the lights when you leave a room or don’t turn them on at all if you don’t need them. Sometimes turning on lights is just a habit even if there is enough light in the room already.
Open blinds and curtains all over the house. I swear my teen would live in constant darkness if I didn’t go into her room every day to tell her to open the shades. We live in the PNW where we don’t get enough sun as it is. On especially sunny days I want to get all the beautiful sunshine and free heat in the house as possible. Make sure to close shades at night to keep cold air out.
When cooking, it is more efficient to use the microwave but if you don’t have one or don’t want to use it. Use the right size pot for the right size burner. If you use the oven, leave the door open afterward to let the warm air heat the kitchen.
Keep kids accountable:
Put TV, game consoles, DVD players all on power strips so you can shut them off when necessary. Turn off the power to those kinds of things at night, even if they aren’t on they are still sucking electricity.
Don’t let your cell phones charge all night, they are finished charging long before morning. It’s not recommended for the life of the battery. You might not be able to make your entire house solar but there are solar powered cell phone chargers. These would be great anywhere not just for home.
This should be a no brainer but you know how it is with kids and some adults………..wear the right clothes! If it’s winter don’t wear shorts and a tank and then turn the heat up to stay warm. If it’s hot, don’t wear and sweatshirt and sweats and turn up the A/C. Just use common sense!
If you have drafts that come in under the door you can make your own Cold Air Stopper, mine is made from a pantleg of an old pair of jeans but you can buy real draft stoppers if you need one.
These tips should get you started in the right direction. Let me know what you do to save money on utilities.
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