With the rising cost of gas and electricity these days, conserving energy also means saving money. Here we present our top tips for saving energy within the home. These can be acheived with some minor lifestyle changes and easy to apply paractical measures
- Turn off the lights. Only turn on your lights when it is dark enough that you cannot see inside your house. When you are not going to be in a room you should turn off the lights. The only time you should leave the lights on in a room you are not going to be in is with fluorescent tube lighting. If you are coming back into the room within ten minutes, turning off the fluorescent tube lights and turning them back on when you return actually uses more electricity. If you are going to be out of the room for longer than ten minutes, you should turn off the fluorescent lights and turn them back on when you return.
- Use power strips, and turn them off when not in use. Instead of plugging appliances and electronics directly into your electrical outlets, plug them into power strips. Some devices use electricity when they are not turned on, which adds up quickly to a fair amount of electricity being wasted every hour of the day. You can turn off the power strips when you are done with the appliances or electronics, assuring that none of them are using electricity while not in use.
- Install compact fluorescent bulbs wherever possible. Even though the bulbs cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, they last longer and use considerably less electricity. Over their life, compact fluorescent bulbs more than pay for themselves in energy savings.
- Turn up your thermostat in the summer. If you can stay comfortable, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher during the hot times of the year. This minimizes how much your air conditioner runs, which in turn lowers your electrical bill. Also, use a programmable thermostat and set it to an even higher temperature for times of the day you know you will be away from your house.
- Adjust your computer’s power settings. Your computer can use a considerable amount of electricity, but you can lessen that effect by changing its power settings. Where you change the power settings for your computer depends on the manufacturer. Choose the setting that uses the least amount of electricity. However, most computers allow you to customize the power settings for even greater efficiency. By setting your screen to turn off after 15 minutes of no computer activity and setting the computer to hibernate after a half hour or hour of no activity, you can save a considerable amount on your electrical bill.
- Buy EnergyStar appliances whenever possible. It may not be practical to buy all new appliances right now, but when you are in the market for a new dishwasher, refrigerator, clothes dryer or television you should purchase an EnergyStar model. While these models might cost slightly more up-front, they consume less electricity which leads to long-term electric bill savings.
- Winterize your house. Winterizing not only helps trap the warm air inside during the cold months, but it also keeps the cold air in during the warm months. Install weather stripping in all exterior door jambs, as well as around the edges of the windows. If you see cracks or open spaces anywhere on the exterior walls of your house, fill those cracks with expanding spray-in insulation or silicone caulk.