According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the 113 million residences in the United States use approximately 22% of the total energy consumed in the country. The problem is, much of this is wasted in leaky ducts and windows, out-dated appliances, and other over-looked energy inefficiencies around the home. The average yearly household energy expenditures run around $2,000, but through a few simple steps, you can save 25% or $500. I don’t know about you, but I think I could find a better use for those savings. Here are some of the easy ways to decrease your home energy use and put a little extra money in your pocket.
- Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
- Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use—TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
- Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow shower heads for additional energy savings
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Air dry clothes.
- Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
These are just a few tips to save some energy and money as the Summer heats up and the air conditionings are turned down, and remember, whether you put your savings away or splurge on something nice for you and the family, saving energy is worth it.