As temperatures plummet, electric bills soar. Thrift lovers know the value of a dollar, but saving money doesn’t come easy when you’re fighting to stay warm. Another downfall to rising energy use is the toll it take on our environment. In the spirit of National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, we complied a list of five easy energy-saving hacks you can do now to conserve energy at home, while protecting Mother Earth and your pocket book.
1. Turn off your lights
This one is so easy. How often do you leave the house without remembering to turn off all of those lights? Or keep lights on in the rooms you’re not using. Here’s a fact that may motivate switch off the lights next time: two lights use the same amount of power as a large computer. Think about all the Netflix you could be watching with that energy. As a matter of fact, why not watch Netflix by candlelight. Power down those lights and pocket those savings.
2. Unplug Your Appliances
Unplug anything you’re not using. Most appliances drain power just by being plugged into the socket. Any electrical appliances that have a clock, LED, light, or LCD panel on it will also still use electricity while turned off. Such as microwaves, coffee makers, TVs, VCR’s, DVD players, etc. Experts estimate that a family of four wastes $421.05/year from electricity being used on appliances left plugged in your home. Think about all the items you have plugged in right now. It all adds up!
3. Invest in LED Light Bulbs
We’ve all heard about the importance of switching out our current light bulbs for LED. While LED bulbs carry a higher price tag upfront, they save you more money in the long run because they use less energy and last much longer than the cheaper bulb. In fact, high-efficiency LED bulbs last at least 10 years, if not longer, while incandescent and halogen bulbs last on average only one year. Making this switch can help the typical home save about a $1,000 over a 10-year period, according to a recent study. Help out the environment and yourself by choosing the more sustainable option.
4. Seal In the Warmth Windows
Ensuring your windows are shut and sealed will help you keep heat costs down, especially in the winter. The right insulation can reduce an energy bill by 10 to 30%. The good news is there are now a variety of greener options for insulators that use eco-friendly materials like soybeans, shredded denim, hemp or sheep’s wool instead of fiberglass. This will keep warm air in your house during the cold month and keeps hot air out when temperatures heat up.
5. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat
When used properly, programmable thermostats like Nest can save you in excess of 15% on your energy bills. So if you’re currently paying $2,000 dollar a year on gas and electric, this means you can save between $300 and $400 after installing a programmable thermostat, which is more than the price of the unit. By having remote access to your thermostat, you can effortlessly turn the heat down when you’re not home and turn up right before you get home.
Do you have any energy-saving hacks that we missed. Please share them with us and our readers in the comments below.