Conserving energy the old-fashioned way is a tried and true way to cut your energy bills year-round. Making some of these tips a habit will help you save energy when the electric rates rise this spring without sacrificing any comfort.
- Use lights wisely. When you leave a room, make it a point to turn off the lights, even if you use LEDs and CFLs. Their energy consumption is substantially less than the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, and each watt of electricity you use adds up.
- Wash your laundry with cold water. Today’s laundry detergents are capable of removing even heavily soiled clothing and linens with cold water.
- Only run full loads in the dishwasher. Dishwashers use the same amount of water for small loads as they do for large ones. Pack the dishwasher before running a load.
- Set the water heater down to 120 degrees. This saves a lot of energy and helps you avoid scalds that can occur at temperatures of 130 degrees or higher. Year-round, this is one of the best ways for conserving energy the old-fashioned way.
- Unplug chargers you’re not currently using. Many of them continue to draw electricity even when they’re not charging. If you place all your chargers in one place, it’ll be easier to remember to unplug them when you’re done.
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer.
- Keep the air filters for your HVAC system clean. The Department of Energy estimates that half of our energy dollars go toward heating and cooling our homes. A dirty filter impedes the airflow through the air handler, raising your energy bills. Dirty filters also cause needless wear and tear on the entire heating and air conditioning system. Check the filters monthly and clean or replace when they’re dusty.
- Use shade screens on your windows to reduce the heat gain in the spring, summer and fall.