Are you looking to reduce your energy bill or lessen the environmental impact of your home? Fortunately, there are numerous simple tricks you can implement today in order to make your house more energy-efficient.
One of the simplest ways to reduce power usage is by turning off devices when not in use. Electronics like televisions, PVRs and game consoles use phantom energy which could add up to 10% to your monthly electric bill!
1. Turn down the thermostat
Switching your thermostat down a few degrees during the day can save money on your energy bill. According to the Department of Energy, each degree lower will save between 1%-3% of the energy your house uses on average.
Turning down your thermostat during wintertime can save up to 10% on heating costs. Simply by turning it back 7 to 10 degrees from its usual setting for 8 hours each day, you could potentially reduce your annual energy costs by 10%.
Aside from saving money, lowering the temperature in your home can also improve sleep quality and comfort levels. Furthermore, it takes less effort to heat or cool with lower temperatures, meaning less use for your furnace – thus decreasing maintenance requirements.
2. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats can save you a considerable amount of energy by automatically reducing the temperature in empty rooms, such as when you’re away or sleeping. Studies have demonstrated that every degree you reduce temperatures during an eight-hour period reduces energy consumption by one percent.
Investing in a programmable thermostat is an investment, but it can pay for itself within the first year by saving you on heating and cooling bills. Be sure to purchase a unit compatible with your HVAC system that works seamlessly with what you already have installed at home.
Also, look for a thermostat that’s user-friendly. Some models can be challenging to set up and could cost you money in lost energy due to an error or malfunction.
3. Unplug devices when not in use
Unplugging audio devices like TVs, cable boxes and amplifiers when not in use can save energy. According to the Department of Energy, homeowners could save between $100-$200 annually by unplugging their appliances.
It’s essential to be aware that many small appliances still consume some power even when in standby mode, also known as “phantom load” or “vampire power.”
Media players like your Xbox One and Playstation 4 still draw power when in sleep mode, since they update themselves in the background. By unplugging these devices when not in use, you can reduce phantom load and protect your electronics from damage caused by power surges that could fry them.
4. Switch the direction of your ceiling fan
Ceiling fans are popular during summertime to keep a house cool, but did you know they can save you money year-round? According to experts, reversing your fan direction during winter months could save up to 15% on heating costs!
To change the direction of your fan, examine its housing assembly for a switch near the pull cords that changes blade direction. On most models, this switch is an analog toggle switch that can be flipped in either direction.
5. Turn off appliances at night
Your home may contain energy vampires – appliances that continue to use electricity even when turned off. These devices can add up to a significant portion of your electricity bill.
On average, households have 40 products that remain plugged-in 24/7 and this accounts for 10% of your energy use. This phantom power (or’standby’ power) can add up to an extra $108 (PS80) annually on your electric bill.
It is essential to unplug appliances when not in use, not only will this save you energy, but it also helps the environment by reducing waste production.