Though we hate to admit it, we all do it without thinking: turn our Atlanta AC higher instead of turning on a fan, or forget about the thermostat settings which are set to full-blast when we are not at home. Oftentimes it is the simple things which can have the most impact, and with saving energy this is true as well.
Households throughout the US will spend somewhere between $1,200 and $2,200 per year on energy costs. With the cost of living in many areas of life skyrocketing, it’s nice to know there are some easy ways to lower at least one household bill: the energy bill. Of course, some of these fixes are free, and some cost a little time and energy, while others must be paid for as long-term investments.
Free, Do-It-Yourself Energy Solutions
These quick and easy, do-it-yourself, no cost solutions produce energy saving results almost immediately!
- Adjust the air conditioning thermostat to higher numbers, such as 78 while at home and 85 or higher when away. Supplement AC usage with a ceiling or room fan, as moving air feels cooler on the skin.
- Eliminate wasted energy by turning off appliances, lights, and equipment when not in use, unplug electronic chargers when not in use, and get rid of spare appliances such as refrigerators which are plugged in but not in use.
- Put those dishwashing gloves away and let the dishwasher do the dirty-work! Dishwashers use less water than washing by hand. In addition, let the dishes air-dry rather than running through the heat-cycle to save even more.
- Do laundry more efficiently by washing and rinsing in only cold water, and line dry instead of using the dryer.
- Use the microwave to cook and not only speed up the cooking process, but use two-thirds less energy than a stove or conventional oven.
Low-Cost, Economical Energy Solutions
Most of these energy saving options can be procured at the local hardware store, are fairly inexpensive, and can be easily done by any competent home-owner.
- Replace HVAC filters regularly, according to manufacturer’s specifications.
- Weather-proof your home by plugging air leaks on doors and windows with weather stripping, sealant, or caulk where applicable.
- Purchase and install ENERGY STAR® certified products such as porch lights, floor and table lamps, pocket lights, and even programmable thermostats to ensure energy using items are using as little energy as possible.
Invest in Energy Solutions
If it is important to you to save energy and money long-term and on a larger scale, there are a number of durable energy-saving investments to consider.
- Purchase new windows, a new air-conditioning unit, refrigerator, or other household appliances which use less energy than older units
- Install window and house shading such as patio covers, or strategically plant trees to shade the home during peak times of heat
- Install a whole house fan which can suck cool air into the home after sundown or in the early morning in order to cool the entire house thus reducing air conditioning usage
- Seal and insulate all household ducts in crawl spaces and attics
- Increase or upgrade attic insulation to higher than the standard grade to keep housing temperatures more constant
To save energy also means to save money, and by following any of the simple steps listed above the average consumer can save energy and save money almost immediately.