Top 10 Ways To Save Energy

Top 10 Ways To Save Energy

There are many big and small ways to be more energy-efficient and save on your monthly utility bill. First, let's acknowledge that we, as Americans, tend to over-consume. Here are ten ways to trim down your carbon footprint and your expenses. It can be mysteriously obvious to simplify your life. Here is one example we often come across. Many homeowners have a second refrigerator or even a deep freezer in the garage. Ask yourself, what does it cost to power those refrigerators, and do you really need all that stuff?

Now, this next one is the favorite example we encountered. A homeowner complained to us that she thought solar power cost too much. She believed it was just too expensive. When speaking with this customer further, we learned that the family spent nearly $4,000 every year maintaining Koi ponds as part of the landscaping on their property. Almost half that amount went to the electricity to power the water pumps. We agree that Koi are beautiful and serene, but at the end of the day, the family valued Koi maintenance over solar savings. This real story is to inspire you to reflect on your true values and encourage solar and financial savings priorities for your life.

We recommend that you follow some of these tips BEFORE going solar. If you reduce your overall power need, you won't need as many solar panels. Here are the Top 10 Ways to Save Energy.

1. Replace regular light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs

Lighting can be up to 20% of your home's energy use. Compact fluorescent lamps CFLs) or LEDs provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs using less energy. CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescents, can last up to 10 times longer and can save you up to $500 a year.

2. Unplug and use a power strip

Many appliances are drawing power even when switched off. Using power strips or unplugging things like cable boxes, DVRs, sound systems, game consoles, and flat-screen TVs can save up to $300 a year by using smart strips and unplugging items not in use. At the least, remember to unplug when you go away for more than a day, especially during vacation time.

3. Adjust your thermostat for the season

Set your thermostat to 78°F for summer AC and 68°F for winter heat if your health permits. For every 2 degrees you turn down your thermostat in winter or up in summer, you can reduce costs by up to $200 a year.

4. Lower your water temperature

A 20 degree F reduction can save you over $80 a year. For most uses, a water heater temperature of 120 degrees is comfortable and works fine. To go even further, try cold water for washing. Save up to $100 per year on electric water heating costs by washing clothes, dishes, or even the dog with cold water.

5. Watch that pool, spa or hot tub

Try to limit pool filtering to between 4 and 6 hours a day when in use. If you heat your pool, make sure it stays covered to keep the warmth where it belongs. Use an energy-efficient, variable-speed pool pump to save up to $500 every year on pool energy costs. Better yet, a dedicated solar-powered pool pump can eliminate the energy expense.

6. Install a Solar Powered Attic Fan

Another affordable way to save money and energy is to install a solar-powered fan vent for the attic, garage, or crawl space. These units cost just a few hundred dollars, don't require any wiring and can reduce your home temperature by 30 degrees in the hot summer months. Get rid of all that hot air.

7. Use motion sensors for outdoor lighting

Just one 150 watt outdoor security floodlight can cost up to $125 a year to power. A string of six low voltage landscape lights can cost more than $90 a year. Use a timer to turn these lights off after bedtime.

8. Use solar lights for outdoor lighting

Today's outdoor solar lights last longer and are better looking than ever before. You can use solar-powered lights for spot, flood, security, or ambient accent illumination. There are no wires and no ongoing energy bill.

9. Buy energy-efficient appliances

Save hundreds every year on energy costs by updating to newer ENERGY STAR appliances. If your central or window air-conditioned unit is more than ten years old, the savings can be even more dramatic. The next biggest culprit if the refrigerator, often the most significant energy draw. You can usually get energy efficiency rebates and tax credits for new appliances. Many cities or utilities offer free removal and pick-up for your old, working refrigerator.

10. Seal and insulate your home

An invisible but time-tested step that can help save energy year-round is to have the proper insulation in the home. You could lower your heating and cooling bills over $250 per year. You may also be able to get rebates from your utility and tax credits.