Since we’ve moved back to the US, I have regularly been astounded at just how cheap energy is. Although you may find electricity and gas expensive in the United States, it is nothing compared to those costs in Germany. But regardless of where you live, it’s always smart to save as much money as you can, and saving electricity is one positive way to start off 2014. I hope you find these tips useful to help help you conserve energy and lower your electric bill for more saving. By themselves, some things might not make a huge impact…but combined together, you can see a definite savings.

photo credit: mugley via photopin cc

photo credit: mugley via photopin cc

  1. Tune down your television set’s brightness to save a bundle on your electric bills. Many TV sets are shipped according to retail mode for optimum picture clarity but when you’re at home, change the settings to home mode or reduce the brightness.
  2. When you’re boiling water, just boil enough for what you need. You don’t need to waste energy on extras you’re just going to throw down the sink anyways.
  3. Flipping your fan’s reverse switch during winter will change the direction your fan blades spin. This way, it will push down warm air sitting near your ceiling into the living space, reducing heating costs.
  4. Consider changing your light bulbs to energy efficient ones such as LED. Although they cost more initially, they are considered better investments long term as they use less energy, have a warmer color, are free from mercury and last far longer compared to traditional incandescent lights. In fact, most LED bulbs last 10 years or more, meaning you also save time and hassle by not replacing bulbs.
  5. Always make a habit of cleaning your air conditioning filters monthly. Dust and dirt may hinder airflow, thus causing inefficiencies.
  6. Turn off appliances when not in use. Sometimes, we have the TV on the whole night because we fall asleep while watching our favorite show. If this happens to you a lot, turn on your TV’s sleep timer so that your TV automatically turns off and doesn’t waste more energy when no one’s actually watching it.
  7. Reset your thermostat to allow higher daytime temperatures. This will give your AC units a break during the day and save you quite a lot on your electric bill. Investing in automatic thermostats which will change temps automatically during the day can help you if you forget to do this yourself.
  8. It’s good to start investing in energy efficient appliances. They may appear expensive but are actually cheaper in the long run as they can cut long-term electric bills.
  9. Unplug gadgets that are fully charged and remove their charging units from the wall too. Keeping them plugged in, especially overnight, is wasting energy and racking up charges.
  10. Seal any cracks and crevices in your home to prevent cooled air and heat from leaking through. A properly insulated home improves energy efficiency.
  11. If you have to do chores like cooking or cleaning while the air conditioning unit is on, your unit will have to work hard to keep things cool. Thus, increasing energy consumption. Limit the use of heat-generating appliances during the day, outside of times when the temperature is hottest.
  12. Having a fan in the room makes it feel cooler and helps keep the air circulating.
  13. Blinds or curtains are helpful to block sunlight or shade the room. Without it, the room can get hotter and the air conditioning will have to work harder to bring the temperature down.
  14. Install dimmer switches to adjust lighting and use only as much light as you need.
  15. If you have enough space at home, line dry your clothes when the sun is out instead of using the dryer. It will make them smell naturally fresh too.

 

These are only a few of the things that you can practice in your homes to help you conserve energy and lower your bills. There are surely many other ways and tips out there to help you with being more efficient at home.

What do you do to save energy (and money!?)

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