Many of us are wasting money and electricity in our homes and we don’t even realize it. It’s easy to use more electricity than we realize because we don’t understand what wastes power. Some of the reasons can be caused by our behavior, and others can be structural.
But the good news is, there are ways to conserve energy in our homes and reduce our energy bills. Discovering ways to stop wasting energy creates benefits that will not only protect the environment it will also extend the lives of our appliances. Here are eight areas of your home that are costing you the most money.
1. Leaving Electronics And Appliances Plugged In
There’s something known as phantom load or vampire draw that drains power when appliances are left plugged in. This sort of standby mode may be wasting more energy than you realize.
The Department of Energy states that 10% of your home’s power is wasted on vampire appliances. We all have several electronic devices in our homes and these are the biggest culprits. Leaving your computer on after you’ve finished using it is one of the ways it’s happening right now. Turning it off helps, but unplugging is the best way to stop this type of energy loss.
One solution is to plug your devices into one power strip. By having them all going into one power strip it makes it easier for you to cut the power on several devices at once. Now there’s only one plug and one OFF switch for the whole group.
2. Forgetting To Turn Off The Lights
Leaving a light switch on wastes energy. Turning them off saves power. One of the biggest energy wasters is leaving the lights on in empty rooms. We’ve all been guilty of walking out of a room and not turning the lights off.
A good rule to follow is if you’re going to be out of a room for 15 minutes or longer, shut off the lights!
3. Inefficient Light Bulbs
Today there are so many choices in lighting technology that it can feel overwhelming. There are several types beyond regular incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs have been around for many years. They use 65% to 80% less power than standard bulbs. LED bulbs use even less power and they last so much longer than incandescent bulbs, so make the switch where you can.
4. Setting The Thermostat Too Low Or High
Temperatures vary throughout your home. By setting your thermostat and forgetting about it, you’re wasting valuable energy. If some of the rooms get lots of sunlight at different times of the day, they can become overheated. If no one is in these rooms during the day, your heating system could be working harder than it needs and energy gets wasted.
Consider looking into installing a programmable smart thermostat. Many can be connected to an app that learns the heating needs of your house. This way, in the winter, the house can be cool when you’re at work, and then warm when you get home. You can also lower the temperature while you’re asleep to save energy during the winter months. This is one of many ways to cut energy use in your home without sacrificing the comfort levels in your home.
5. Not Replacing Your HVAC Air Filters
This is another preventable cause of wasted energy in your home. When your air filters get clogged with dirt and dust the system has to work harder to push the air through it. This increased load will eventually cause your system to age faster and potentially fail during times when you need it most. Also, make sure to clean your air ducts every couple of years. This will ensure that your entire system is running efficiently and remains dependable over time.
6. Cranking Up Your Water Heater
The average water heater is set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you turn it down to 120 degrees you’ll instantly save energy. This not only saves on the wear and tear of the system, but also keeps your family a little safer. By lowering the thermostat the water will still be hot enough to wash clothes and dishes, but will greatly reduce the risk of scalding during bathing. The lower temperature also reduces corrosion and slows any mineral buildup. By lowering the temperature, your heater won’t have to work as hard and should last longer.
7. Air Leaks
One of the best strategies to prevent energy loss in your home is to identify sources of leaks and drafts. By not properly insulating your windows and doors you’re letting the cool air leak out during the summer and letting in the cold air during winter. You also want to examine areas where your water, cable, and utility lines come into your home. Caulk around these spots and plug any leaks you find. It’s easy to feel the breeze coming in around a leaky window, but you can also use a burning candle. When you see the flame flicker you should easily notice where the air is slipping in. The best way to find any leaks in your home is to get an energy professional to come in and perform an energy audit to assist in finding the problem areas in your home.
8. Strategic Landscaping
Most of us don’t know how the landscaping around our property can affect our home energy use. The Department of Energy states that trees and bushes that provide shade and block the wind can cut energy use in your house by up to 25%. By trimming the shrubs and bushes around your house in the winter it will help to increase the amount of sunlight in your house and reduce your heating bill. Having a solar power array installed to catch all of that sunlight is also a great solution!
Make Your Home Energy Efficient
By identifying these issues and reducing wasted energy in your home you’ll gain so much. You’ll contribute to a cleaner environment, extend the life of your appliances, and most of all, cut your energy bill!
Remember, installing solar power can take you off the energy bill roller coaster and have you begin taking full advantage of the free energy of the sun. There’s no better price than that! A free solar estimate should be a part of any home energy cost-cutting plan you undertake. And right now is a perfect time to schedule a visit. Do it now, before spring hits and you’ll be enjoying the full energy of the sun during Pueblo, Colorado’s sunniest seasons.
If your house is wasting energy and you need some advice on how to make the necessary changes, Steel City Solar can help turn the situation around. Making your home energy efficient and comfortable for your family is what we do. We’ll assess your home and create a custom plan that’s right for you. We stand behind our work 100% and are the best at what we do for Southern Colorado.