Our daily habits and homes are becoming more energy efficient. This allows you to keep your hard-earned money in your pocket and help conserve energy on a greater scale. New home technology and these energy saving tips will help you pinch more than a few pennies.
Research shows that over the last 22 years, American homes have saved over $362 billion by embracing energy efficiency. Last year, the European Union embarked on a plan to conserve 20% energy by 2020. The narrative is the same in developing countries. Everyone is trying all they can to conserve energy. The UN has started an initiative, Sustainable Energy for All, whose objective is to be energy efficient by 2030.
The question is, how can you be part of this global effort? By improving energy use in your home. Here are practical tips to do so.
Energy Saving Tips To Save You Money
Energy Efficiency In The Kitchen
Cook lots of food at once. If you are baking scones for breakfast, but have additional baking to do at dinner time, decide what can be baked ahead of time. This will help you conserve overall energy.
In the cold season, warm your home with heat from the oven by leaving it open after baking. This way, you will conserve energy that would otherwise have been used by turning on your heater.
Fill up your freezer. When stocking up your freezer with foods, fill it up. This will not only save on space but also on energy. Plus, with a full freezer, that means less trips to the supermarket.
Boil just the right amount of water. A lot of energy goes to waste when you use a kettle to heat up excess water. Try to boil large amounts, then save the excess in the thermos for later. Let’s say you’d like a cup of tea, and in an hour your children went a cup of hot chocolate. Instead of turning the kettle on again, use the reserve left from the first cup of tea.
Let the dishwasher do the work. Put your dishwasher to the test. Instead of meticulously rinsing off your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, leave them dirty. You’ll save money and water, but also a bit of time!
Energy Efficiency In Washing
Avoid overheated water for washing. For laundry, if it is possible, wash clothes in cold water with cold water detergents. If it is absolutely necessary to wash them in hot water, avoid overheating. Hot water not only destroys the fabric, and also wastes energy.
Dry clothes in sunlight. After your done washing, hang your clothes out to dry. Clothes dried out in the sunlight smell great don’t they? You also conserve energy. If you are to iron them, avoid over-drying them. This will save you time and energy ironing.
Energy Efficiency In Appliances
If not in use, turn it off. Home appliances consume the highest amount of energy. If they are not in use, unplug them. Avoid leaving lights on overnight. If a light is not in use, turn it off. Do not leave TVs, DVDs and radio systems on stand-by.
If you’re leaving for a trip and want to keep a light on to deter intruders, consider an electric timer to turn the light on for an hour or two in the evening.
Bundle up in the winter. In the cold season, rather than using the heater, wear an extra sweatshirt, or cuddle up with a blanket. By lowering the temperature a couple degrees you’ll save energy and money. Try to set your thermostat to 68 degrees, which could save you 10% or more on heating and cooling.
Use smart appliances. Look out for companies in your area that sell smart appliances that help conserve energy. For example, rather than use the normal light bulbs, use energy saving incandescent LED and CFL light bulbs. Energy star freezers, air conditioners and heaters are also available.
Consider investing in a smart thermostat. It can help you control the temperature from your phone and conserve energy when you’re away from home.
Energy Efficiency In And Outside The House
Insulation. For energy efficient heating, ensure your home is properly insulated. This extra effort will keep your heat in your house and prevent the warm or cold air from escaping through walls and windows. If you have an older home, try to seal leaks by doors, closets, and electric fixtures.
Windows. For cold areas, the best windows are those with a low U-factor. U-factor is a measure of how the window conducts heat away. For hot places on the other hand, install white window shades to reflect heat away.
If you have an older, less efficient home, you can buy insulated curtains or seal the window with a window film.
Let the sunshine in. Open your curtains to allow sun to heat your home during the day. When the sun is about to go down, close them to retain heat within the house.
Solar panels. Rather than relying on electricity, you can also install solar panels. They are cheap and save you a lot of money in the long run. For cooking, you could also compare gas and electricity costs. Whichever is cheaper, use it!
Landscape. Outside the house, use landscaping. Research shows that well placed trees can save a home up to 25% energy that would otherwise been used for air conditioning, because they provide shade and cooler temperatures.
Involve all. The bottom-line of energy saving is to involve everyone in your family. Read out these tips to your spouse. Have your children understand the importance of conserving energy and you will soon be making steady steps towards the global objective ‘Sustainable Energy for All’. Enjoy the extra money in your pocket with a family vacation or to buy more energy efficient technology!
Author Bio: Elizabeth is on the content team for Dynasty Partners. She enjoys decorating homes and finding new ways to save money. Her husband and two children like to ski, hike, and travel in their free time.
[Photo Credit: Unsplash]
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Penny Thots. I’ve been interested in personal finance since high school and love writing and talking about it. You can learn more about me in the Authors section of this site.