Energy Use

Buy energy efficient appliances. Look at the energy usage labels. It can be worth spending more today to save money in the long run. For example, gas clothes dryers are more expensive to buy than electric ones, but are much cheaper to operate. If you’ll save $20 per year in energy, it’s worth spending at least $100 more today for the more efficient option.

Obviously, turn off electronics when not in use. Some devices use power even when turned off. So, use a power strip and turn off the power at the strip, especially when you’re going to be away for a while.

Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED ones, even if they still work. The LED bulbs use so much less power and last so long that you’ll save money doing this. Save the LED bulb receipts because they have long warranty periods – you can get them replaced for free if they fail too soon. Open the curtains and let the sunlight in whenever you can.

Set your thermostat no lower than 78F (25.5C) in the summer and no higher than 68F (20C) in the winter. Adjust the settings for nighttime and when no one is home. Setting a programmable thermostat can help. If it cools down at night in the summer, turn off the AC, open your windows and use fans. Fans don’t use much energy, AC uses a lot.

Have an energy efficiency audit done on your home. This would tell you if you need more insulation, or if your air ducts are leaking, or if you should consider replacing your windows. If you have a window that lets in too much direct sun and causes a room to get too hot try applying a semi-reflective film. These can be surprisingly effective!

Actions:

  • Choose energy efficient appliances and electronic devices when you need them
  • Turn off the lights and power strips when devices are not being used
  • Set your thermostat to reduce how much you run your heater and air conditioner
  • Consider getting an energy audit of your home, especially if your utility bills are higher than your neighbors
  • Resources:
    Energy Use in Homes
    How to make old homes energy efficient
    How can I make my home more energy-efficient?

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