When was the last time you asked yourself How can I conserve energy? only to give up and keep doing what you’ve always done?
Every household can save money by conserving electricity, and it does not have to be a time-consuming or difficult task. To lower your electric bill, you just have to change a few habits and know where your house’s problem spots are.
One of the most used parts of the house can often be the most overlooked when it comes to saving energy. To cut costs, we discuss five places in the house where residential electricity customers can easily and quickly save money by conserving electricity.
1. Start with the thermostat
Take a look at where your thermostat is set. If it’s lower than 78°F during hot weather or higher than 68°F during the winter, you are increasing your energy consumption by 6 percent to 8 percent for each degree of separation from the recommended temperature, according to Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Remember, during the warm months setting your thermostat to a freezing temperature the moment you get home will not cool your home faster. Patience will pay off.
If adjusting your thermostat makes your home a little warmer than you’d like, use ceiling or portable fans. Fans are a good way to cool down a room because they move the air and make the space feel four degrees to six degrees cooler and use less energy than an air conditioner.
2. Pay attention to windows and doors
Windows and doors can pull unwanted heat in and let precious cool air escape. Doors and windows should be shut tight. Keep an eye on family members and remind them that going in and out of the house makes your air conditioner work harder.
If you have single-pane windows, you don’t have to invest in costly energy-efficient panes. You can simply install solar shades or tinting film. This will add another layer of insulation to your home and take some strain off your AC.
Window blinds and curtains can help, too. Keep your window coverings closed during hot months to block the sun’s radiant heat, and open them when the weather turns cold to allow the sun to help warm the room.
3. Adjust the kitchen
The dishwasher and fridge are two appliances that can be adjusted to save money and energy.
Only run dishwashers when fully loaded and use air-dry settings. These changes will help save your hot water, too. The heat-dry setting on your dishwasher can heat up the kitchen and cause the AC to work harder.
Take a look at the temperature settings in your fridge and freezer. They may be too cold. Set the fridge to 37°-40°F. The freezer should be 5°F.
Also, a full fridge runs more efficiently than a half-empty one. Try to keep it stocked. Get more tips for conserving energy in your kitchen here.
4. Take control of the laundry room
Laundry is unavoidable, but if you pay attention to the size of your load and when you do laundry, you can cut down on your electric bill. Similar to your dishwasher, a full load is better.
When drying clothes, do not overfill the dryer and use automatic settings if available. Dry loads back-to-back if possible and clean the lint screen between each load.
In the summer, try to do your laundry in the evening or at night when it is cooler. The heat from the machines can raise the temperature in your home and provide another reason for your air conditioning to work harder.
5. Pay attention to your desktop
The home office is one place that can be easily overlooked when you ask yourself, “How can I conserve energy?” We use our computers and appliances every day, but this does not mean they have to always be powered on.
Set monitors and computers to sleep mode when idle for more than a few minutes. This will use less energy and allow your computers and electronics to run cooler. If you are done using your computer, go ahead and turn it completely off.
One last thing to consider is switching your retail electric provider to get a better rate. Conserving energy can be easily accomplished by anyone in your home starting today.