7 Tips for Reducing Your Home Energy Usage
Today, everyone is trying to cut down on their electricity bill. Some appliances use a surprising amount of energy that isn’t easily detected. However, at the end of the month, these expenses become evident when the bill arrives. Initially, it might seem like all of your energy usage is necessary for the comfort of your household and your family. On further inspection, it becomes clear that some usage is unnecessary, and by cutting down on this, you can save hundreds of dollars every year. Here’s a look at seven tips for reducing your home energy usage.
1. Turn Off Lights
This might seem like an extremely basic tip, but it’s one of the most important nonetheless. Turning off lights in your house when not in use saves an incredible amount of money. When you go to sleep, turn off all of the lights in the living room. When you eat in the living room, turn off the lights in the kitchen. Simply put, there’s no need to consume electricity that you’re not benefiting from. If you forget to turn off lights, consider purchasing automatic timers for many of your light switches. In the evening, certain ones will turn off automatically because you’re likely done in there for the day. Of course, you can turn them back on if needed.
2. Unplug Electronics
Similarly, when electronics aren’t in use, unplug them from the socket. The amount of electricity that an appliance uses when in the “off” position varies greatly. Some appliances consume a negligible amount. On the other hand, many electronic devices secretly sap electricity even when they may seem to be idle. Because you can’t really differentiate between sockets, it can be hard to tell which ones are the biggest suspects. It’s best to simply unplug any electronic that you’re not using. If you’ve moved on to a new toaster oven, unplug the old one. Unplug the old TV that’s just sitting in the garage. You’ll save so much energy in the long run.
3. Manage the Thermostat
Managing your thermostat is also crucial to reducing energy usage. First and foremost, you want to be comfortable in your home. However, if there’s a range of acceptable temperatures, don’t make it warmer than you need to. Rely on your thermostat as little as possible. As seasons change, make sure to constantly update the settings and preferences on the device. Your thermostat usage in the summer is bound to be vastly different than your usage in the winter.
4. Consolidate Your Laundry
Some homeowners like to run many loads of laundry, especially if they have a big family. However, this is a bit of a luxury. Washing machines use an appalling amount of electricity on average. It’s a much better idea to consolidate your batches of laundry into bigger ones on a less frequent basis. It’s true that you might have to make sacrifices such as wearing articles of clothing that aren’t your favorites. However, this is a small price to pay when you’re able to run only half as many loads of laundry.
Moreover, you’ll be cutting down on how often you’re running the dryer. It’s a common misconception that the washing machine is an energy magnet, while the dryer is just an afterthought. In many common models of laundry appliances, the dryer can actually be more costly. Of course, this depends on how long you run each cycle and the type of washing and drying you prescribe. Regardless, there’s no question that mixing similar types of laundry in big batches is a smart move.
5. Replace Old Electronics
In general, newer electronics are more energy-efficient than older ones. Over the years, engineers have made great progress with respect to energy usage. New models might use only a half or a third as much energy as old units. People like switching to new technology because it often has more features and looks amazing. At the same time, you also reap the benefits of much less energy usage when it comes time to pay your electricity bill.
Identify your older electronics and kill two birds with one stone by replacing them with the newest products on the market. One question is always the exact age at which you should replace appliances. As a rule of thumb, electronics over a decade old should be considered at the very least. This doesn’t mean that you have to immediately toss them out; rather, look at online shopping outlets and see what manufacturers have to offer.
6. Install Fans
Fans are great alternatives to air conditioners. Although fans clearly use energy as well, their consumption is a fraction of the cost of an AC unit. An air conditioner actively chills the air and disperses it through your home. This chilling process is very costly. On the other hand, fans simply increase circulation through your house with an inexpensive rotating motion. Ceiling fans give the best radius of coverage. These fans usually come with low, medium, and high settings as necessary. Pedestal fans are equally as good. This type of fan is highly portable, so you can move it around as you reposition in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. While fans might not be adequate for extreme heat, they’re more than suitable for cooling down your residence on a warm day.
7. Install Dimmers
Dimming technology reduces the intensity of lights. As mentioned before, the best move is to turn off these lights completely when not in use. However, you might be occupying the room but don’t need the full intensity of the light fixture. A dimmer allows you to adjust the intensity to a suitable level. For example, right before you go to sleep, some people prefer dimmer lights to condition their bodies to a nighttime mode. Dimmer lights naturally use less energy than bright ones. In addition, you simply get more control over the ambiance of your home. Another trap to watch out for is a strongly dimmed bulb. A strongly dimmed bulb that looks to be off still consumes more energy than a bulb fully turned off. With a little bit of practice, you can dim your house effectively and to your liking.
We Can Help With Home Energy Issues
By following these tips, you can reduce your home energy usage by a considerable amount. Nevertheless, there’s still more progress to be made. Many further ways of conserving energy lie within HVAC systems that are concealed to the untrained eye.
You can rely on Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning in Seattle if you’re trying to reduce your home energy usage in a professional manner. Our team of experts understands all of the best ways to reduce usage while maintaining the functionality of your home. We know just how important it is to be conscious of your energy consumption, so we’re committed to helping homeowners in the community with their heating and cooling systems. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment. We’re happy to answer your questions about cooling repair, furnace installation, AC replacement, and heating maintenance, along with electrical services and hot water heaters.