Everyone is tightening their belts these days. There are some ways to save on your energy costs while you work from home or look for that new job. Here are 10 of them.
Turn down your water heater
The water heater accounts for 14-18% of your energy costs! Reduce the heat from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, and you will see savings. To ensure that your dishes get clean, make sure your dishwasher has a heat booster.
Increase your dryer efficiency
Appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators make up about 9% of your energy costs. By avoiding drying loads that are too big or too small, you can cut some of the cost of using your clothes dryer. If your dryer has a cooldown feature, use that to finish up the drying process.
Check your windows
The best option is to replace drafty old windows, but if that is not in your budget, caulk the gaps. You can caulk gaps up to ¼ of an inch effectively. Make sure that the window treatments are right for the sun exposure your window gets. You want treatments that allow the sun in during the winter months to help warm the house and that block sun in the summer to keep your home cooler.
Use the ceiling fan
The cost to run your air conditioner is about 36 cents an hour while using the ceiling fan costs about 1 cent an hour. The fan will not necessarily reduce the temperature in your room but can make it feel more relaxed. The ideal energy efficient temperature to set your air conditioner to is 78 degrees. Only use the ceiling fan when you are in the room.
Upgrade your thermostat
If you can set your air conditioner on a timer, you can reduce the energy use by as much as 10%.
Try a portable air conditioner
Using these small mobile units can supplement your central air conditioning and can save you money. Further, using them in an apartment or in place of an old and inefficient air conditioning system can save you money on energy costs.
Switch out your light bulbs
Changing to LED or other energy-efficient light bulbs can save you up to $600 per year.
Turn off unused appliances
Turning off appliances when they are not in use can save you money. However, it can be a lot of work. Instead, use power strips with an on/off switch to turn on and off banks of appliances. You could save up to $100 per year using this system.
If it is in your budget to do so, replacing your appliances with energy-efficient new ones can save on monthly energy costs. Look for appliances bearing the Energy Star stickers when shopping.
Stick to your budget
Do not go out and spend a lot of money you don’t have to replace your appliances, buy new light bulbs, or buy a new air conditioner. Look at what you need, what you can afford and stick to your budget.
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Adapted from the Plain Dealer June 14, 2020 article on page B7.