Small Energy Saving Habits
...that could save you big money
Written by CW Suter
Saving Sustainability Technology
Small Changes Can Lead to Big Savings
Installing a high efficiency furnace or air conditioner will have a huge impact on your energy bills, there’s no doubt about it. But even small energy saving habits can make for some serious cash savings.
Bonus: Many of these small changes require no out of pocket expense on your part.
#1 Hang Clothes out to Dry
Now, we don’t recommend doing this tomorrow, but once the weather heats up, hanging your clothes out to dry instead of using your dryer will have a positive effect on your wallet. If invest in a drying rack for your home, you can do this activity year round. The amount of money you save will depend on whether you own an electric or gas dryer, how big of load, your energy rates, how long it takes to dry your clothes, etc.
More money and energy saving bonuses:
- You won’t need to use dryer sheets anymore.
- If your dryer tends to give off some heat, chances are that your air conditioner is having to work harder to cool your home. Hanging your clothes to dry thus gives your air conditioner much needed respite.
#2 Change Your Furnace Filter
According to the Department of Energy, replacing a dirty filter can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15%. Since your HVAC is responsible for about half of your energy bill, you’re looking at 7.5% savings every month.
#3 Turn off Your Lights
If you’re not in a room, the lights don’t need to be on. No brainer, right? Well, try telling that to the tiny humans that may inhabit your home. In all seriousness, turning off the lights when you leave the room or your home can result in a 20% savings on your electricity bill.
#4 Keep Vents and Registers Open
This may require some heavy lifting of various pieces of furniture, but making sure that your vents and registers are open is worth the effort. You may think that closing the vents and registers would save you money, but in all actuality, you could be doing damage to your home’s HVAC system. Those damages could result in costly repairs. To find out more, check out this article by Boulden Brothers: Why You Should Leave Vents and Registers Open.
#5 Wash Clothes in Cold Water
As much as 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat up water. Contrary to what some may say, cold water still removes stains. It is also is a lot more energy efficient.
#6 Open or Close Curtains (Depending on Season)
In the winter, open your curtains to let the sunlight in. During the summer, close your curtains to keep the heat out.
#7 Take Shorter, Cooler Showers
If you take a piping hot shower, your water heater has to run for awhile causing hot water to leave your tank and cold water to enter it. If you take cooler, shorter showers, you will use less energy to replenish your hot water and you won’t be using as many gallons of water per shower.
#8 Unplug Household Items When Not in Use
The average household has 40 items that are plugged in, constantly drawing power. The electricity flowing through a coffeemaker or TV that is not being used but still plugged is pretty small, but together, 40 of these items can account for as much as 10% of a house’s energy use.