More and more people are starting to care about the environment and are looking for ways to save energy at home. Sometimes there are options that require initial investment or planning. But there are other times when it’s really easy to start. Making the best use of electricity in your home is a good starting point.
Turn Off Unnecessary Lights
Always turn off the lights when you leave a room, the kitchen, or the bathroom. It wastes electricity and this is something that’s easy to avoid. Of course, when leaving home for a few hours, it is recommended that you make sure all the lights have been turned off. When it comes to saving electricity at home, the switch is your ally.
Use Natural Light
Some homes are built for passive lighting, strategically positioning the structure and its windows to maximize the exposure to natural light throughout the year. However, this passive approach can also be used in normal homes to a decent effect. Place your reading chairs and study tables in areas near the windows to gain natural light. Strategically placing bright paintings and mirrors will also brighten up a room without turning on the lights.
Turn the Water Off When Shaving, Washing Hands, Brushing Teeth
On average, heating water consumes about 25% of a home’s total energy use. Taking shorter showers as well as turning the water off when brushing teeth, washing hands, shaving, etc. will cut down on this consumption. Being efficient with your water use will not only help you save on energy costs, but also help conserve a valuable resource.
Unplug Unused Electronics
Turning off electronics and appliances is one of the simplest solutions to save energy at home. However, even when turned off, some electronics and devices still continue to suck up energy while they are plugged in. So, it is recommended that you make a habit of unplugging unused electronics to cut down on this wasted electricity. Also, turn off the “quick start” option on TVs and gaming consoles, and plug electronics into power strips that can be unplugged or flipped off in an instant.
Manage Your Thermostat
Over half of the energy used in homes is just for cooling and heating. Investing in a programmable or automatic thermostat can cut that energy consumption by up to 30%. Managing your thermostat wisely can also contribute to energy savings. Lowering your thermostat by merely 2 degrees can save you up to 5% on your heating bill. You can save even more if you lower it to 5 degrees.
Wash Laundry in Cold
About 90% of the energy that washer consumes is used to heat water. So, if you want to have huge energy savings, switch to cold water. Many people assume that hot water is best for washing clothes, that’s not really true. The fact is, brands have even created detergents that are made to be specifically used in cold water. Switching to such detergents and washing laundry in cold water is an excellent way to save energy.
As you can see, huge reductions in energy consumption are possible through simple changes. Homeowners who make these changes discover that the energy savings are worth all the effort.
Photos by: Rodolfo Clix, Tara Winstead, Jarek Ceborski, Anna Shvets, Kelly Sikkema, Erik Mclean, Annie Spratt