Becoming more energy efficient isn't just about preserving the environment. It can also provide substantial savings on your monthly power bills. You may have decided it's too much trouble, or costs money for greener technologies. There are really a number of simple, affordable things you can do. Here are four ways to start saving energy.
Kitchens are one of the most energy-intensive areas. You can save power by cooking more than one meal at the same time, so that tomorrow's dinner only has to be warmed up. When cooking meals or desserts in cold weather, let the heat circulate to the rest of the house to reduce the burden on home heating. Wash the dishes on warm instead of hot, and avoid pre-rinsing dishes that don't need it. Don't cook small pans on big burners, or vice-versa.
Heat and AC
HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems shouldn't be turned on if you don't need them. Even slight adjustments could be wasting money over the course of a day. Put on a sweatshirt instead of turning up the heat, or a pair of shorts instead of turning up the AC. It's also important to have your AC system checked by a professional, such as those from Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. before peak summer temperatures. Inefficient operation or clogged ducts forces the AC to work harder and wastes electricity.
Saving energy with household chores just takes a little effort and common sense. Don't use warm water where cold will do, or hot water where warm will get the job done. Try to use appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers at full capacity in order to avoid wasted electricity. Consider hanging up your laundry rather than using the dryer, or removing it before it's fully dry. Use dust mops and brooms instead of dragging out the vacuum cleaner.
Fans and dehumidifiers can help to reduce AC costs. Letting in the sunshine will reduce heating and lighting expenses. Additional insulation and sealing of window or door gaps will help save money on both. Also add insulation around your hot water heater and hot water lines. Get everyone in the household into the habit of turning off anything that isn't being used. Consider solar-powered lights for the exterior.
Saving electricity is just a matter of a little proactive planning and developing good habits. Start with the easy and affordable solutions. In time, you might be ready to move up to solar panels or smart thermostats to save even more.