Saving Energy is one of the most important things we can do right now to ensure that there will be a planet here for generations to come. Energy saving begins at home. It extends to the brands we purchase and the politicians we support. And most of the time, saving energy means saving money too! Simple energy saving tips can help you get started today.
“Let us not take this planet for granted,” Leonardo DiCaprio said in his Oscar acceptance speech. In that statement, DiCaprio also added that, “Climate change is real; it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating,”
The 31 Energy Saving Life Hacks series is part of a larger campaign from Constellation.com aimed at providing energy saving tips that we all can implement to reduce our carbon footprint. The more energy saving tips you implement, the greater your chances of saving on your monthly energy bill.
30+ Energy Saving Life Hacks
Here are the energy saving tips used with permission from Constellation.com:
1. Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle. Just open the door after the rinse cycle and let Mother Nature do the rest. If you run your dishes in the evening, you can wake up to dry dishes without a single kilowatt being used. Doing this can cut dishwasher energy use 15-50%, depending on the machine.
2. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F. The potential annual savings for every 10ºF you reduce the temperature is $12-$30.
3. Wash only full loads of dishes to reduce water and energy use. Consider washing them in an eco-friendly detergent, such as Grab Green’s Dish Washing Detergent that is made with naturally-derived, biodegradable ingredients.
4. Plug home electronics into power strips, and turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. This one by Safemore has 6-Outlets and 4-USB ports, with a built-in separate individual power switch with LED indicator for power saving.
5. Insulate heating ducts. In a typical house 20-30% of the air moving through the duct system is lost due to leaks. For example, Speedi-Products makes an 8″ by 25′ insulated flexible Duct R6 Metalized Jacket that is used in HVAC Heating and Air Conditioning systems and venting applications.
6. Install low-flow showerheads. For maximum water efficiency, select a showerhead with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm. For just about the same price as other low-flow showerheads, this one eliminates chlorine and chloramines from your shower water. It also has a dual spray mode and a water conservation stop feature.
7. Use Energy Star-qualified CFL and LED light bulbs. Halogen bulbs emit a lot of heat and use a lot more energy than standard lighting. LEDs and CFLs use 20-25% of the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs.
8. Turn off incandescent lights when you are not in the room. 90% of the energy they use is given off as heat, and only about 10% results in light.
9. Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently. A reputable brand like Honeywell can range in price from around $20 to this awesome touch-screen thermostat with programmable energy saving modes that allows remote access through a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Turning your thermostat back 10°-15° for 8 hours can save 5%-15% a year on your heating bill.
10. Seal air leaks in windows and doorways. Sealing air leaks can result in up to 30% energy savings, according to Energy.gov.
11. Don’t block radiators. It can reduce the spread of heat circulating into the room.
12. Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump’s temperature activates the heat strip, which uses more energy.
13. Add an insulating blanket to older water heaters. This could reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save about 4%–9% in water heating costs.
14. Older appliances are often less energy efficient. When they need to be replaced, look for more efficient ENERGY STAR products and energy saving tips.
15. Use microwaves and toaster ovens to cook or warm leftovers. You’ll use less energy than cooking with a conventional oven.
16. Clean/replace filters in the furnace. Energy.gov recommends changing the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter slows down airflow and makes the system work harder.
17. Avoid using the rinse hold setting on your dishwasher. This feature uses 3-7 more gallons of hot water per use.
18. Open curtains or blinds that face the sun during the day, and the close them at night.
19. Take shorter showers. A typical showerhead spits out an average of 2.5 gallons per minute. Reducing your shower time by 4 minutes per day may save 3650 gallons annually if you shower once a day.
20. Install a timer for your water heater that will turn it off when you are not at home or at night. If your water heater doesn’t have a timer, you can get one like this one that is reasonably priced and easy to afford.
21. Clean the dryer lint filter regularly to keep your dryer running efficiently. Use the long nozzle on your vacuum periodically to clean out particles that get beyond the filter.
22. Add aerators to your faucets. Choose an aerator with a flow rate of no more than 1.0 gpm for maximum savings.
23. Insulate hot water pipes. This reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than un-insulated pipes, allowing you to also lower your water temperature setting, for additional savings.
24. Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using a screen saver so it uses less electricity during periods of inactivity. This can reduce your electric bill by up to $30 annually.
25. Keep the oven door closed while cooking — the temperature can drop by as many as 25 degrees each time you open the oven door. Click here for more energy saving tips in the kitchen.
26. Vow to replace your five most-used light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR® products. If every American did this, we would save about $8 billion per year in energy costs. These fixtures can use up to 85% less electricity compared to a traditional light source, and need only 18W bulbs to replace 120W halogen bulbs.
27. Air dry clothes when possible. Click here for helpful tips to optimize your dryer efficiency while reducing your chances of a dryer fire.
28. Try washing your clothes with cold water. Today’s laundry detergents work just as well in cold water, and you could save around $63 annually. You can double your impact by using natural, eco-responsible cleaning products to wash your clothes, which can be found at sites such as GrabGreen.com and LuckyVitamin.com.
29. Turn off your water heater if you plan on leaving home for a few days. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
30. Unplug chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device is not plugged into the charger.
31. Make a commitment to change a habit. The Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg says that you need to identify the cue that prompts the behavior and then create a reward to make a permanent change.
Let the change be lowering your carbon footprint, and let the reward be more money in your wallet!
Thanks to Constellation.com for permission to print their 31 energy saving life hacks. Let’s all do what we can to reduce our energy usage and save money on energy too. Follow along on with their energy saving tips social media using #EnergyLifeHacks. There are affiliate links in this post.
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