Home Decor & Gardening · Life & Adulting

8 Ways to Make Your Home Energy Efficient

I’m excited to share with you this great post from a fabulous guest blogger, Ivy Delfin!  Read on to get some great tips on saving $$$.

There’s no denying it, the cost of electricity is going up every year. We’re also spending more time indoors and using more electrical devices than ever before. So why don’t we make more of an effort to curb our energy use? It’s really not that hard. Here are a few simple steps you can take that will significantly reduce your family’s energy consumption. You could save hundreds on your annual energy bills without having to drastically change your lifestyle.

1. Turn appliances off at the wall
Many electrical devices, such as TVs and gaming systems, still consume power when they’re turned off. To stop your devices wasting energy in this red light stand-by mode, be sure to turn them off at the wall after you’re done using them.

2. Change energy providers
Electricity providers aren’t all the same. They can charge in very different ways, so it pays to ensure that the plan you’re on is most suited to your energy use. Online comparison services like Save Central are available to help you find the right energy provider for you.

3. Switch to energy saving globes (lightbulbs)
Incandescent or tungsten light globes consume four times as much energy as modern compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). They also last 1/10th the amount of time! Given that fluorescent bulbs are now available in warmer tones, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t throw out the old incandescents.

4. Wait for a full load before running the dishwasher
The dishwasher is one of the most energy hungry appliances in the modern home. Yet many of us run them when they’re only half full, effectively using them twice as often as we need to. Unless your kitchen is only equipped with one item of everything, wait until you can fill a full load. This goes for your washing machine and dryer too.

5. Avoid using the dryer
Dryers are also energy guzzling beasts, so only use yours if you absolutely have to. If it’s cloudy or raining outside, you can always hang clothes on the back of chairs or your couch. Alternatively, purchase a fold up clothes line for indoors.

6. Take shorter showers
You’re probably thinking more about your water use than electricity with you’re in the shower. But remember a lot of hot water systems are electrical these days. Limit your shower to less than five minutes and the system will consume significantly less energy heating up the water. If you’re the sort of person who listens to the radio in the shower, you could time yourself by allowing one complete song to play.

7. Install solar power
Rebates are available in many states for installing solar panels on your home. As a bonus for generating your own electricity, if you have a surplus, you can sell it back to the grid and even make a profit! There are plenty of smaller solar powered items you can place around the house too, such as garden lamps.

8. Use sensors and timers
If you’re using a relatively new washing machine or air conditioning unit, chances are it probably has a timer. Program your air conditioner to switch on half an hour before you get home and it’ll be just the temperature you want as soon as you walk in the door. This will save you from having to switch it onto high in order to bring it to a comfortable temperature quickly. Additionally, make sure that the lights on your porch are sensor activated. There’s no point lighting it up when there’s nobody out front.

Ivy Delfin is a mom and frugal energy user. She writes for an energy website, Save Central.

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