Household utilities cut into budgets every month as homes powerful their appliances, heating or cooling systems, entertainment devices, and similar features. In especially hot or cold seasons, power bills can quickly rise and take up an even greater portion of the budget. If you are tired of spending more and more money on energy, here are several sustainable, easy, and above all money-saving techniques you can use around the house:
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Unplug: Appliances use power even when they are turned off, drawing in electricity to power latent systems. You can cut this electricity drain by unplugging major devices when you are not using them. Obviously, large appliances like refrigerators will always need to be plugged in, but make it a household practice to unplug entertainment devices, TVs, treadmills, and other large appliances that do not need to always be on. Move this practice over to lights, too – shut off any unnecessary lighting and always turn off lights when you leave the room.
2. Always Check Your Weatherproofing: Weatherproofing includes all the strips, sealant, and insulation that prevents outside air from getting indoors – and vice-versa. Old weatherproofing – or its total absence – creates leaks that make heating and cooling systems inefficient, forcing them to run longer and wasting your money. Check the weather-stripping around your doors to make sure there are now gaps or ragged edges – the same goes for windows. Take some time on a weekend and examine your ductwork for any cracks or gaps that may need to be repaired. Make your home as leak-free as possible to save on energy.
3. Buy New Appliances the Smart Way: The latest generation of devices includes many “smart” and highly energy efficient devices that automatically adjust their power usage to save as much money as possible. When shopping for something new, look for the most energy efficient options. Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs and replace old heat pumps with those that have better efficiency ratings. Go for LED screens that use a low amount of power and watch for Energy Star ratings when buying washing machines, refrigerators, and microwaves. A little research now can save money in the future.
4. Spend Some Time with Your Thermostat: Manual thermostats make it difficult to save power: Saving up for an automatic, programmable thermostat can be well-worth the expense. With a control panel in place, you can set temperatures to cut your power bills by as much as possible. When heating, lower settings at night and during the day when no one is around, raising them only when people are at home to enjoy the benefits. When cooling, set the temperature at night as high as you can bear it and adjust daytime levels by when the house will be used.
5. Find Alternative Methods of Heating and Cooling: When setting your thermostat, try to incorporate other methods of heating and cooling in your house, too. Gas heating, for example, is less expensive than using electrical heating or traditional furnaces. Cracking open windows at night can cool the house for the next morning rather than depending on air conditioning – just remember to close them and make use of the shades before the day warms up. Practices like these can reduce reliance on costly methods of heating and encourage a more sustainable, energy-saving way of life.
Lindsay Truman is a professional blogger that provides personal finance advice. She writes for PureChecks, a leading personal and business checks retailer.