energy-saving-ideas-cooling-unit-imageSaving energy on necessities means more money for luxuries. However, many people believe that expenses that are malleable are somehow set in stone. This is far from the truth! Here are seven ideas that can save you energy and bolster your bank account to redirect into luxuries or the other niceties of living.

Lower the Reading on Your Thermostat by a Few Degrees

There is a reason your thermostat is so easy to reach - it is meant to be used! However, instead of using it to simulate a sauna or a personal ventilation system, you can use it to maintain a constant temperature of convenience and use less energy when you’re not in need of it.

When you’re not at home, you aren’t affected one bit by the temperature inside. Turn the thermostat down to match the outside temperature or simply turn it off! You can also do this when you sleep; you don’t need to worry about the temperature in the house when you’re not awake, do you? You can also buy thermostats that will do this sort of thing automatically, saving you energy without you even having to think about it.

Use Cold Water When Doing the Laundry

The vast majority of energy that is used to clean your clothes is in the heat of the water. If you use cold water, you can actually cut your energy usage in the laundry room to 10% of your previous output. Also, make sure that your loads are completely full when you turn on the washer. Front loading washing machines use around half of the energy of their competing brands, not to mention 40% less water. This is definitely the way to go if you are trying to save on your home energy costs this year.

​Keep Your Home Well-Insulated

As the seasons change, your doors and windows can warp and come apart from the walls. Make sure that you apply weather stripping to all operable windows and doors following a huge change in the weather. You can also tell if your energy is escaping by putting your hand down around the edges of windows and doors. If you feel a breeze, that is your energy escaping. You can have an audit performed even if you do not feel anything; the tools that professionals use are much more precise.

Have Maintenance Done on Your Furnace/HVAC Unit Regularly

energy-saving-ideas-air-filter-imageA well tuned machine always uses less energy than a tired or dirty one no matter what. Setting up a routine maintenance for your home's internal plumbing and air conditioning is one of the highest ROI activities that you can invest in. Even though you may not like the extra expense in your monthly budget, you will be much less happy at the four or five digit bills that can show up if your maintenance is not performed on a routine basis, not to mention the one or two months that you will have to spend living in a hotel room while your energy bills continue to rack up by the minute.

​Your Garage Doesn't Need to Be the Same Temperature As the House

Far too many people believe that the garage should remain just as air conditioned as the rest of the house. The extra square footage along with the added escape holes for energy are just begging to put a hole in your bill this month. Use the air conditioning in the garage if you are planning to spend a weekend there doing projects; otherwise, leave the thermostat alone in there.

​Full Loads Equals Better Energy Efficiency

Just as with your clothes, make sure that you always have a full load of dirty stuff for your dishwasher before you turn it on. This will save energy. If your dishwasher has an "energy saver" setting, then make sure that you always turn it on.

​Close the Damper on Your Unused Fireplace

In general, you want to close up all of the holes in your house so that energy does not escape. This wastes energy and causes your AC to work harder and break down sooner. However, people forget about the biggest hole in their house - the chimney! Make sure that it is closed if the fireplace is not in use.

Saving energy will become more and more important as time goes on and energy becomes more scarce. Put yourself in the habit now in order to save money on energy costs and reduce your footprint on the environment at the same time!

Photo credit: cooling unit, air filter
Posted by Chris Penny on


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