Winter has arrived, and unfortunately, the cost of energy use continues to skyrocket. Not only do the excessive amounts of energy used by most households increase the cost of their utility bills each month but in some situations, the amount of energy used is also damaging to the environment. Although it is virtually impossible to comfortably live without the use of electricity, there are several ways you can reduce the amount you use, which will ultimately lower your utility costs. Here are five simple energy-saving tips to keep your home warm and comfortable.
Is Your Home Being Attacked by Energy Vampires?
A significant portion of the electricity being used in a typical home is from electronic items that are not in use. These electronic items are known as “energy vampires” because they are sucking up electricity 24-hours a day, seven days a week. This can cost an average homeowner about $100 extra each year. Some of the main vampires in your home may be the televisions, cable boxes and computers. To kill these vampires and start saving on your energy costs, unplug all of the electronics when they aren’t being used or use a power strip with a switch that allows you to turn off the power to everything plugged into it. Coffee makers, electric razors, toasters and hair dryers are also a few of the main appliances that are often unrecognized as being energy vampires.
What’s Your Dirty Laundry Costing You?
Whether you have a gas or an electric dryer, cleaning out the lint screen after each use can help save you about $25 each year. Along with cleaning the lint screen after each load, you should also have the exhaust duct cleaned at least once each year. When possible, run your dryer on the cool setting to use less energy. To save even more energy, consider drying clothes outside on warm, sunny days. In most situations, about 90 percent of the energy used when doing laundry is due to heating the water. Washing clothes in cold water will help to lower the amount of electricity used significantly. Washing full loads and doing laundry either early in the morning or late in the evening will also help to reduce energy costs.
Brighten Your Home While Using Less Energy
When it comes to the lighting in and around your home, there are a few different ways to lower the costs of energy. For example, by changing all of the lightbulbs from older, incandescent style bulbs to CFL bulbs, you will notice energy savings of about $35 each year. Another great idea is to use motion sensors, which only turn on lights when you need them.
Enjoy an Energy-Saving Meal
There is nothing better than a home-cooked meal after a long day, but many of the appliances used for cooking may use a lot of energy. You shouldn’t put off having home cooked meals, but there are ways to eat well and reduce your energy use:
- Replace old appliances with new energy-efficient models.
- Spend a few hours one day each week to prepare all of the meals for the week, then freeze them and use as needed.
- When cooking smaller meals, use a microwave oven.
- Using a slow cooker will allow you to have dinner ready when you get home, and you will use significantly less energy.
- Don’t ever use your oven to heat your home. Not only will this increase energy use, but it is also unsafe.
A great way to learn more information about how to lower your energy costs is to contact your energy supplier to request an evaluation. Most energy suppliers will be happy to do a home inspection or provide you with a questionnaire pertaining to typical use for your home. The inspection and/or the questionnaire will allow the energy company to recommend other ways you can reduce your energy costs, such as adding more insulation to your home, upgrading your appliances or even something simple as how often you should change the air filter on your HVAC system.
To learn more information about how new energy-saving lighting can lower your energy costs, contact us at Northern Lighting to see the available options.