We hear all the time about saving energy to go green and reduce our carbon footprint. That is all well and good, but what about saving energy to make sure our wallet doesn’t get emptied every month just for the energy bill? Here is a look at some of the ways that you can save energy at home and by doing that, save money while you reduce that carbon footprint.
You might live in a state that regulates energy providers, in which case, you will be stuck with the energy provider who is assigned to your area and you will also be stuck with whatever their rates are. On the other hand, you might live in an unregulated state, like Texas. If so, you will have the option to choose from various energy providers based on their rates and packages. Check out Direct Energy Texas to see an example of this. Just input your pertinent info and get quotes on energy rates in your area. There are even green options for you to choose from!
It is a fact of life that you need to heat your home in the winter months. What you might not realize is that the cost and energy usage doesn’t need to be so high. Try not to turn up the thermostat to get the house warm more quickly. It will still heat up at the same pace as it always does, you will just be using more energy to heat it. Also, try to keep the thermostat at the same temperature on a constant basis. Lowering it at night and then raising it during the day simply makes it work harder and expend more energy during the day to heat the house back up to the preferred temperature. Make sure that no heat is escaping your home from air leaks around the windows and doors. Also, check to ensure that your furnace or heater is working efficiently and that the filters are changed on a regular basis. Consider getting a programmable thermostat too.
If you are not familiar with this term, you might be more familiar with the term energy vampire. They both refer to energy used by an electronic device or appliance when that particular item is not even powered on. The U. S. Department of Energy says that in your typical home, 75% of the energy used to power electronics is used while the products in question are powered off. The University of California Berkeley issued a report that said that 6% of all residential energy usage in the country is accounted for by phantom loads. You can eliminate this issue by unplugging your electronics and appliances when they are not in use, or by making sure that they are plugged into a power strip and that is turned off when they are not being used.
More About Appliances
There comes a time in our lives when we will have to go out and buy new appliances. When this time comes, make sure that you seek out those appliances that are equipped with the Energy Star label. These appliances use anywhere from 10% – 50% less water and energy than those appliances that are not Energy Star certified. They might cost a bit more to purchase, but they will pay for themselves rather quickly with your savings on energy costs.
One of the most effective and least expensive changes that you can make is actually replacing your light bulbs. Energy Star says that one of their CFL bulbs can save you more than $30 over the lifetime of the bulb and will pay for itself in only about half a year. These bulbs use 75% less energy than a regular incandescent bulb and can last as much as 10 times longer.
Cool Off with Fans
When it gets super hot during the summer months, use ceiling, whole house, and stationary fans to cool off. This will reduce the need for the air conditioning to be used. Remember that for each and every degree that the thermostat is raised during the summer, you can reduce your costs for cooling by as much as 7% – 10%.