energy efficiency solutions

We obviously all know that we should try to save energy at home. After all, we don’t want to waste money on high gas and electric bills. Moreover, we know that it’s better for the environment if we save energy. And yet, we don’t always do the things that we need to do in order to keep our homes as energy efficient as possible. Why is that? The most common answer: it feels hard. It’s not hard, but it feels hard. So start with the easy stuff. Implement these seven easy energy efficiency solutions in your home ASAP. You’ll save money and feel better about yourself, too.

1. Stop Heating and Cooling Your Home

Your heater and/or air conditioner is probably the number one energy drain in your home. If you stop using the heat and AC, then you can easily save yourself a lot of money on your energy bills. At first glance, this might not seem like one of EASY energy efficiency solutions. After all, we’ve all gotten used to our creature comforts. But it’s surprisingly easier than you think. In fact, autumn is the perfect season to stop using the air conditioning and don’t bother turning on the heat yet.

Some of the ways to reduce heating and cooling usage in your home include:

  • Dress for the weather inside your home. Don’t turn on the AC and then get under a blanket! 
  • Open and close windows accordingly to make your home hotter or cooler.
  • Use drapes and blinds to better insulate the windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Use the fireplace if it’s starting to get chilly in the evenings.
  • Block any drafts. This might mean getting out the caulk. Or it might mean putting a rolled up towel in front of the door.

At the very least, make sure that you use your AC / heater as little as possible. That means setting the temperature to something moderate so it’s not running all of the time. It means not heating and cooling the home when no one is there. Moreover, make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible with clean filters, etc.

2. Turn Off The Lights

Turn off the lights when you’re not using them. You use them more than you think. Of course you know that you should turn off the lights when you leave a room. Hopefully, you’re already doing that. However, play close attention to how many lights are on when you are in the room. Use natural sunlight and as few lights as possible for each task. You might not need overhead lights when a reading lamp would suffice. Challenge yourself to turn off as many lights as possible as often as possible. This truly is one of the easiest energy efficiency solutions.

3. Unplug What’s Not In Use

Lights aren’t the only thing that you want to turn off when you don’t need them. You should turn off, and even unplug, as many items as possible when you’re not using them. I’m looking around my house right now. Just from where I’m sitting I can see the following things plugged in: laptop, iPad, phone, 2 lamps, vacuum, Oculus VR device, desktop computer, and Alexa Echo. I definitely don’t need all of those things on right now. I probably don’t even need most of them plugged in. Unplug items that aren’t in use. Don’t let that vampire energy add to your electric bill!

4. Embrace Silence

This relates to the last point but it’s worth saying on its own. Don’t keep noise on all of the time when you’re at home. I’m terrible about this one. I constantly have on a podcast, music, and/or television show. (Yes, I sometimes have more than one noisy thing going at once.) One of the easiest energy efficiency solutions is to turn off that noise for at least several hours per day. It’s also good for the brain. In particular, it’s wise to turn those things off in the hours before bedtime. You’ll get better sleep as a bonus.

5. Switch to Cold Water

Use the cold water setting on your washing machine. Wash your hands with cold water. If you can stand it, take cold water showers. Heating up water adds to your energy usage. Personally, I love hot showers. However, I try to keep them brief. I do wash my hands, my clothes, and my dishes in cold water, though.

6. Do Tasks The Old Fashioned Way

Wash and dry your dishes by hand. That way you don’t have to run the dishwasher. Or, use the dishwasher to wash them. However, skip the drying cycle to save some money. Similarly, use your washing machine on the cold setting. Skip the dryer and line dry your clothes. These things aren’t as hard as they seem at first. People did this for decades. You can do it too. And it’s worth the energy savings.

7. Read One Article Per Day About Saving Energy

Yes, this is a bit of an unusual suggestion. However, I’m serious about it. When you stay focused on energy efficiency solutions for the home, you’re more likely to take those actions. If you read one article on this topic each day, it will remind you to do what you need to do in order to save energy at home. You can set a Google Alert to send you that kind of information. Or find an energy-saving podcast that gives you quick and easy tips every day. The point here is to stay inspired each and every day. When you hear a tip that sounds easy enough for you, implement it immediately. This will help you keep saving energy in the long run.

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