Finding ways to conserve energy in your home will save money and help reduce the nation’s demand for the resources needed to make that energy, like fossil fuels. You’ll also reap the more immediate benefits of enjoying a more comfortable home when it is powered just right. Here are a few ways you can cut back on costs and live a life that is healthier for the planet.
Heating and cooling your home typically uses up 35 to 45 percent of your total energy budget. You can minimize that damage by investing in smart or programmable thermostats that will adjust while you are away or sleeping. Cutting back on air conditioning or heating for 8 hours a day can save you 10 percent per year on energy bills, according to the Department of Energy.
To keep your air conditioners or heaters from working unnecessarily hard, it’s also important to identify any air leaks in your home. Otherwise, the temperature that you’re paying for might slip right through the cracks. These leaks are most commonly found in windows and doors, and you can seal them up using caulk or weather-stripping.
You’re also wasting energy any time you leave an electronic device plugged in — even if it’s not turned on. That’s right, items like your T.V. and computer are still using electricity even though they’re off. That kind of energy waste is often called a phantom or vampire load. To save yourself from those horrors, you can utilize advanced or smart power strips that will shut off the electrical current until you actually turn the device on again.
One of the easiest ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home is to switch to LED lightbulbs. According to the DOE, an average American home has 70 lightbulbs screwed in at any given time. LEDs, use up to 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and a single one can save you more than $80 during its lifetime. Just think of the savings if you switched out each of those 70 bulbs with LEDs.
Taking smalls steps like these costs you little to no money upfront, but saves you a tidy sum in the long run. Start reducing your energy use today and enjoy the benefits for years to come.
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