Even when you cut back on your usage, your energy bill can still seem high, especially during the cold winter when you turn up the heat to keep warm and the energy bills start coming in even faster.
Luckily, you can do some simple things at home to reduce that energy bill and save money on utilities over time.
Here are energy-saving tips to help you reduce your energy bills at home.
Become aware of the energy usage of your home
The first step in saving energy is educating yourself on how your home uses energy. Check the electric and gas meter for the past 12 hours, which will give you an idea of what it takes to power your home. Keep a log of this for one day, then compare it to another day when you are not using as many electrical or natural gas appliances. This will help you see where the majority of your energy is going.
If you’re living in a rented place, check with your landlord about upgrading any outdated heating and cooling systems – they might be willing to install new ones if they know that it’ll save them money on their utility bills! If you live in an older home, consider installing some insulation around your windows or adding storm windows in cold weather months.
Get an Energy Audit
An energy audit analyzes your home’s energy usage and can help you identify ways to improve efficiency.
To start, list the appliances in your house and their estimated annual electricity usage (which you’ll find on the appliance’s tag or manual).
The audit will also ask about your home’s insulation, windows, doors and HVAC units. The auditor will then provide recommendations for reducing your energy bills.
Upgrade Your Draught-proof windows and doors
In winter, draughts can be a significant source of heat loss in your home. Windows and doors are particularly vulnerable as they’re often left open when not in use, letting in cold air.
To save money on your energy bills, ensure you have draught-proof windows and doors fitted. If you have older properties with single or double-glazed units, it might be worth upgrading them to more energy-efficient models.
Educate Yourself on Water Heating
Water heating is one of the largest energy consumers in the home. If you’re looking for ways to save on your energy bills, try these water heating tips:
- Install an instant water heater that heats your water as it’s being used. This will reduce the amount of hot water tanks running, which reduces the cost of heating your water.
- Set your thermostat temperature higher than usual. You may feel uncomfortable or need to be used to this change, but setting it 3 degrees higher can significantly reduce your energy bill.
- When washing dishes by hand, use cold water instead of warm or hot water. Using cold water cuts down on how much energy you’re using while lowering dishwashing costs!
Hang Clothes to Dry
Hanging clothes out to dry is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to save energy. Additionally, it’s a fantastic way to lessen your carbon footprint!
Plus, when you hang your clothes up on a sunny day, you don’t need any extra heaters or air conditioners running. Instead, the sun’s rays help dry them out in no time!
Unplug Appliances When Not in Use
One easy way to save money on your energy bills is by unplugging your appliances when they’re not in use. This includes things like televisions, DVD players, coffeemakers, and chargers for all your electronics.
It’s also a good idea to be mindful of the temperature in your home. If it’s too hot or too cold, invest in a programmable thermostat or adjust the settings on the thermostat that you currently have.
Knowledgeable in the kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most energy-intensive areas in your home. It takes a lot of energy to run the stove, refrigerator and dishwasher, so you must run these appliances as efficiently as possible.
You should clear out your refrigerator first. This will help eliminate some of the excess heat produced by the appliance.
If you have an older fridge with a separate freezer on top, make sure that the freezer door is closed tightly so that it doesn’t let out any cold air when it’s opened.
Next, wash any dishes by hand before using your dishwasher and scrape off excess food before loading them into the machine.
Use Energy-Efficient Computers and Monitors
Most of the energy you use in your home goes towards powering your appliances and electronics. But there you can do easy things and you can reduce those bills, like swapping out old computers and monitors for more energy-efficient models.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends replacing any computer six years or older with a new one.
They also recommend using LCD screens over CRTs because they’re less power-hungry and consume 20% less electricity than CRT screens.
And if you have an office with several computers, consider using power strips so they can be turned off with just one switch.
Educate Yourself on Landscaping
Landscaping is an essential aspect of home maintenance. When you maintain your landscaping, you’re not only after the plants and lawn but the appearance of your property. If you are starting with landscaping, it can be a little overwhelming.
However, there are many ways to improve your home’s curb appeal without spending a fortune or being too overbearing with your choices.
Reduce your time in the shower
One of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption is by simply reducing the time you’re in the shower. Each minute in the shower uses an estimated 1/2 gallon of water and one-kilowatt hour of electricity, so cutting your batteries short can help conserve both wand energy.
To make it easier on yourself, set a five-minute timer before getting into the shower. Then, if you need more time, just reset the timer when you get out – but be sure not to let it go over 10 minutes!