Budgets are tight, so it’s only natural to do everything we can to save money. Smart energy management is one of the easiest ways to save, and a few practical tips can end up saving hundreds or even thousands over time. While you may have employed some of these tips already to cut costs, power consumption can be driving up your bill in some surprising places.
Make Your Home Hospitable to Heating/Air Conditioning
Besides adjusting your thermostat for energy saving purposes, making your home cooler or warmer naturally and preventing air leakages can reduce the need for air conditioning and heating. The easiest and most basic ways to improve AC and heating capabilities is to ensure doors and windows have a tight seal. You can also use curtains and blinds to shade your home from the sun, and there are even special window films available if you prefer a more natural view.
Maintain Your Appliances to Improve Efficiency
Appliances work better when they are maintained, reducing the need to ramp up power to achieve desired performance. Change filters and call for yearly maintenance to ensure that your air conditioner and furnace are running at peak efficiency. Appliance repair professionals and the user’s manual that came with your appliance can give you valuable tips on completing maintenance. You will always have the added benefit of prolonging years of use, too. Appliances are mostly energy efficient nowadays, but it may be advisable to upgrade old appliances if they aren’t optimized in terms of energy use.
Make Sure Electronics Are Really “Off”
A lot of appliances continually draw power, running up your bill. Look into each appliance and consider putting as many into “sleep” or another energy saving mode as you can. Unplugging electronics you do not use often or will not use for awhile can help save energy and money as well. When shopping for appliances and electronics, consider buying models that are energy efficient and power off automatically or go to sleep when idle for periods of time.
Installing solar panels in residential properties is becoming more and more of a reality as costs decrease and technology improves. Smaller panels can now provide ample energy, leaving bulky installations in the dust. Solar panels can pay for themselves in a few years, making them a sound investment. They will need to be maintained like other appliances in your home, but this small cost doesn’t come close to outweighing the environmental and money-saving benefits of solar panels.
Additionally, Powershop noted that smart thermostats can provide information about energy use and turn down the thermostat automatically during periods where people are out of the house. This is especially useful during times when people are typically sleeping, for example. Thermostats can (and should) also be adjusted manually to cut costs when people are out of the house if no programming feature is available.