Prices are going up in many of the areas that affect how you live. Significant changes are found in groceries, the price of energy and almost everything else you can think of. Maybe you can’t cut back on your insurance premiums, but you can do a lot to cut back your household energy costs. In most cases, you don’t need to spend a penny to start on the savings. Use these simple suggestions and you’ll find you can start saving money right away.
Tighten leaky faucets. A leaky faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year. Worse yet, if the faucet leaks hot water you are sending a lot of money literally down the drain. The cost of heating water typically accounts for about 10-15% of household energy costs. Those little drips can add up to a big cost and they are easy to avoid.
Don’t leave your flue damper open. When you don’t have a fire going in your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. This will keep heated air from getting lost out the chimney.
Install a shower-head with a restricted flow design. It will save water and also the energy to heat that water. You can get one for under $20. Installation is usually very easy.
In the summer, set your temperature to 78 degrees. You can save a lot by increasing the temperature to 78 from 72 degrees. Your AC is probably your home’s most energy intensive system, so even small decreases can offer big paybacks.
Lower your temperature control to 68 during the winter. You can save up to 5% on your heating bill by reducing your temperature setting from 72 to 68 degrees.
Do your laundry in cold water. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is in heating the water. Eliminate this unnecessary cost by using cold water for the laundry. Restrict your use of warm water to when you’re doing a load of whites. Modern detergents do a pretty good job so it’s not like in the old days.
Use window treatments to regulate your home’s temperature. In the summer, close your south and west facing curtains or blinds. Keeping direct sunlight out of your home will reduce the burden on your air conditioner. It will make your rooms cooler. During the winter, do the opposite. Open your blinds and curtains on sunny days to let the sun’s rays warm your rooms. As the sun goes down, close them again to keep the warmth from escaping.
Only run the dishwasher when it’s full, so you won’t run it so often. The dishwasher accounts for about 2% of your home’s overall energy usage. Don’t ever run partial loads with it. Wait until it is as full as possible before you turn it on.
Run vent fans only when you really have to. Your bathroom’s ventilation fans can replace all the air in your home in as short a time as one hour! Letting the exhaust fans run for extended periods will suck your cool or warm air from your house and replace it with more air from outside. This will boost your cooling and heating costs significantly.