Energy Saving Tips

May 7, 2019 by Waverly Wilde

Energy conservation is important. Not only is it good for the environment, but it can also help you keep home utility costs down, especially in warm summers and cold winters when those costs can skyrocket and catch you by surprise.

In this guide, you’ll find energy saving tips covering all the areas of your home. With these ideas in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making your house as energy efficient as possible, and also to reap those energy savings!

Of course, if you are looking to supplement this guide with energy-saving appliances – or have any questions about how to further save energy across your home – stop in or give us a call. At Howard’s, we’re always here to help.

Basic Energy Saving Tips

How to start saving energy in your home

If you are looking to start saving energy in your home, there are several easy places that you can begin. Here are some tips that will help you get started on cutting back on your energy usage, and get you saving money on your utility bills in the long run.

 Turn it Off When Not in Use

No matter what the device or appliance is, make sure to turn it off when you are done using it. Turn your TV off when you are finished watching it and turn off all lights whenever you leave a room.

Don’t forget about your office or desk space, and be sure to turn off any computers, monitors, or other computer equipment when they are not in use.

 Consider a Programmable Thermostat

One easy way to decrease your energy usage and reduce your utility bills is to purchase a programmable thermostat. Use a thermostat that you can customize to your schedule, such as having it turn off during the day while you are gone and then start up by itself when you get back. This will help keep your house comfortable, but also energy efficient.

 Replace Your Light Bulbs with Energy Efficient Models

Instead of using older models of lightbulbs, replace as many bulbs in your house as you can with energy saving models. Look for lightbulbs that are either Energy Star-qualified CFL or LED bulbs, and double check the size of the bulbs you are replacing before you go out and purchase new ones.

 Change How You Dry Your Dishes

Instead of relying on your dishwasher to dry your dishes, stop the cycle after it finishes cleaning them. Then take your dishes out and set them on a drying rack to air dry. This will help reduce the amount of energy that your dishwasher uses.

Also, contrary to what some may think, washing dishes in a dishwasher is more energy efficient than washing them by hand. You’ll use less water running full loads in a dishwasher than if you manually washed each and every dish.

 Change the Temperature of Your Laundry Water

Modern laundry detergent cleans just as well with any wash temperature, so stick with cold water to save energy and money.

 What Temperature Should I Keep My Thermostat At?

This is a very common question when it comes to home-owner energy savings. Setting your thermostat’s exact temperature is going to come down to many factors, including how well your cooling and heating system operates, and your own personal preference for what temperatures you find comfortable.

As a general rule, in the summer you want to try to keep your house as warm as you can tolerate, and the reverse in winter. Changing your thermostat only one degree can make a difference in your energy usage, so experiment until you find the right balance of cost savings and comfort.

 How to Save Energy Cooking

While it might not be as glamorous, there’s one easy appliance switch you can make to cut back on the energy your kitchen uses. Use your microwave to heat up and prepare meals – as opposed to using your stove – and you’ll reduce the amount of energy required for every meal you prepare.

When you do decide to use the oven to prepare meals, don’t open up the oven door when it is in use. Opening the door while your oven is hot causes its temperature to drop, which means it must work harder to warm back up again – using more energy in the process.

Intermediate Energy Saving Tips

How to further reduce energy usage in your home
Now that you’ve taken basic steps toward reducing your energy usage, make sure to keep track and check your utility bill. Have you noticed a dip in your energy usage? If so, then congratulations on taking the first steps toward using less energy!

If you haven’t noticed that much of a difference yet – or if you just want to further reduce the amount of energy your home needs – here are some additional tips that can help you meet your energy-usage goals.

 Reducing your refrigerator's energy

Refrigerators operate at their most efficient when they are full. If you are living alone – or your family doesn’t use a lot of groceries -- your fridge is probably working overtime to try to keep itself cool.

To alleviate this – and to save energy that your fridge is wasting – fill your fridge with bottles of water. This will help the fridge stay at the correct temperature. The same rule applies to your freezer: If your freezer tends to be empty, fill it up with bottles of water, as well.

 Why it’s important to unplug everything

Unplug all devices when you are done using them, even ones that you think are off or don’t seem to be using power. This includes phone chargers and other power adapters that currently might not be in use. They still draw power and waste energy, even if they aren’t currently charging anything.

 Forget about your dryer

While dryers are a convenience that many of us rely on every time we wash clothes, they are an appliance that draws energy just like anything else.

Instead of using a dryer, hang up clothes and air dry them. This will further cut down on the energy usage of each load and can make a big difference if you have a large family and are running multiple loads of clothes every week.
Can’t say no to your dryer? There are still ways you can speed up your drying time and thus save more energy. Throw in a tennis ball or a dry towel to the load you are drying, and it will dry faster, saving time, energy, and money.

 How to reduce the amount of water you use

There are a few different ways you can reduce the amount of water in your home. First, install low-flow showerheads and faucets, and you’ll notice a drop in water usage right away.

Also, there’s another easy – but not fun – way to use less water: Make the switch from taking baths to showers, and then from there cut down your shower time.

Advanced Energy Saving Tips

Taking your energy-saving efforts to the next level
If you are looking for even more ways to cut back on the amount of electricity that you are using, worry not. We here at Howard’s have a few more tips to help you cut back even further on your energy usage, and really make a dent in that utility bill.

 Optimizing your water heater

Adjusting your water heater will reduce your energy costs. Your water heater is a giant, silver tank that should be located somewhere in your house or apartment. On it, there is a dial that controls the temperature. To save the most money, keep your water heater at 120 degrees or lower.

That’s not all you can do, though. Purchase a water heater blanket, and then wrap it around your heater. This will help keep your heater insulated.

 How planting a tree can save you energy

Looking for a really green way to help you save energy? Think outside the house. Plant a tree or two outside, and they’ll reduce the amount of energy that you need to control the temperature inside. It’s a great way to both add some green to your lawn, and also further work to lower your energy footprint.

 Energy Star Certified

If you are looking for new appliances or electronics, always buy Energy Star certified products. According to Energy Star, their “products are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality.”

Of course, if you need help picking out new appliances, we’re always here to help you find the best appliance for your needs, be they energy star certified or not. Stop in to Howard’s today, and we’ll make sure you leave happy and with exactly what you are looking for.
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