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Tips for Saving on Energy in Your Home

Tips for Saving on Energy in Your Home

How much energy are you wasting right now? You probably don’t even know. Take a walk around the house and perform a self-guided energy audit to get a sense of where you’re frittering away money and power. The amount of energy you’re currently wasting might shock you, but don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to cut back and cut out waste. Check out the following tips for saving on energy in your home, and watch your bills go down.

Natural Gas

Your first step to saving energy should always be to cut back wherever you can. With natural gas, see how high you’ve set your thermostat and take it down a few notches. Keeping the temperature in your house lower in the winter means burning less gas, which leads to lower gas bills. Wearing a sweater is ultimately cheaper than keeping your home too toasty for too long.

You can also look for leaks and drafts around the house. See if the cracks around your windows and doors are letting in the cold or allowing the heat out. Seal them up with weather-stripping and caulk. Keep your water cool, too—wash clothes and dishes with cold water, and skip any overlong hot showers. Also, replace or keep your HVAC filter clean so that your system isn’t overtaxed.

Electricity

In general, use less electricity by turning off the lights and switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs. Adjust the thermostat in your fridge, and only use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines when they’re full. Watch for octopuses around your electrical outlets. If your outlets are sprawling with cords—even through power strips—you’re not just using more electricity; you’re also putting yourself at risk for an electrical fire. Cut back on what you keep plugged in. Watch for energy vampires as well, meaning those machines and devices that continue to draw power even when you’re not using them, such as DVD players, printers, and chargers.

Water

Save on your water bills by not letting the faucets run for too long. That means shorter showers, fewer baths, and not leaving your sprinkler running for too long on hotter days. Repair faucet leaks; most faucets drip due to old washers and similar easy fixes. Wipe off dishes rather than rinse them before putting them through a cycle. Overall, for all your washing devices and other big appliances, make sure you’re buying energy-efficient models rated highly by Energy Star.

Miscellaneous

As for some final tips for saving on energy in your home, when it’s summertime and you have the air conditioning running, try not to use your stove too often. Raising the temperature in the kitchen can send a false signal to the AC unit that it needs to pour in the cold air. Cook more often with your microwave, too—it uses less energy than an oven. Finally, if you don’t have ceiling fans, install them. They keep the air circulating and allow you to adjust the thermostat to a more efficient setting.

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