Tips on Cutting Your Energy Usage at Home

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Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker BRE #01513285
Original content by David Jackson, MBA

Many families in the USA spend a large amount of money on energy bills. Fortunately, every household can save energy in their homes, which, in turn, reduces utility bills and save money in the long run. Presently, investing in smart appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators helps individuals control and decide energy consumption at home.

Energy-saving at home is essential; one should come up with a plan to save energy usage both in the long term. Some of the valuable tips on cutting energy usage at home include:

1.Use of Energy Efficient and Smart Appliances

One of the best ways to lower residential energy bills is by using smart appliances and electronics. For example, replace standard bulbs with the energy star rated devices such as the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). CFLs use approximately a quarter of the energy compared to conventional light bulbs. On their website, Direct Energy recommends using new energy-efficient refrigerators to save roughly $35 annually, compared to the old ones that use 700kWh per year. Additionally, the company advises clients to consider energy subscriptions since the plan offers fixed energy costs.

2. Installation of a Smart Power Strip

Consider using an advanced power strip for televisions, DVD players, and other home electronics. A smart power strip manages standby power by turning off electronics when not in use.

Your HVAC system should also have an automatic regulator that will cut its power once you attain the desired temperature or humidity in a room. The strip ensures that the heating unit stops once you achieve an ideal atmospheric condition.

3. Washing Full Loads of Clothes and Dishes

Approximately 90 percent of the energy consumed in laundry and washing dishes is for water heating. Therefore, to reduce the energy used in these activities, wash full loads instead of doing small loads, and adjust the temperature settings to warm water instead of hot. The move can cut energy use by 50 percent. However, if possible, wash clothes in cold water.

4. Water Heating

Water heating is one of the most significant energy expenses in several US homes. Typically, it accounts for approximately 13 percent of the utility bills. However, you can reduce the heating bill by turning down the thermostat to a more comfortable setting ideal for most uses. Also, encourage more showers than baths (showers use less hot water), insulate the water heater, or even consider purchasing a new and more efficient heating system.

5. Use of Renewable Energy

The use of renewable energy such as wind and solar energy is one way to cut energy usage in homes while reducing the environmental impact. Install a solar water heating or lighting system to substitute the conventional national grid supply. Your bills will reduce drastically. Furthermore, you can sell your surplus energy to the national grid.

6. Making Adjustments to Your Daily Life Behaviors

Some behavior adjustments can reduce energy usage at home. Some of the changes include:

● Turning the lights off when leaving a room or when the lights are not in use

● Use the air conditioner less often, especially during summer

● Adjust down the heat on the thermostat during winter

● Open your curtains during the day to allow sunlight warmth in the room

● Eliminate any energy-sucking gadgets such as unplugged electronics and equipment such as battery chargers, especially when not in use

The Bottom Line

It is commendable that you pinpoint areas in your home that use the most energy. Follow the diagnostics with an energy reduction approach that may include buying smart electronic gadgets and undertaking home improvement projects that allow efficient energy use.

Further, track your energy consumption and bills to identify possible energy waste. You can monitor the progress of the plan by comparing the energy bills monthly, quarterly, or even on an annual basis.

Posted by

Mike Jackson, CNE, CDPE

Broker Associate

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