Unfortunately, not every home is a good fit for solar. But that doesn’t mean there are no other options to increase your home’s energy efficiency and sustainability. There are many very affordable small changes that you and your family can make to your day-to-day routine that will reduce your energy consumption and spending. Check out the tips below to figure out what works best for you:
- Unplug any appliances when they aren’t in use. About 25% of all residential energy usage come from appliances that are ideally left plugged in when not in use. Even when your coffee pot isn’t brewing coffee or your laptop charger isn’t charging your device, they are still using energy. To make unplugging easier, try using power strips that you can switch off.
- Clean your filters. Having dirty filters in your AC, heating unit, dryer, or other appliances reduces their energy efficiency, and their effectiveness tends to be diminished.
- Use fans. Fans can help to delay or diminish the need for air conditioning in the summer, and can bring hot air down from the ceiling in the winter.
- Utilize your blinds. It’s surprising how much opening and closing your blinds can impact the temperature of your home. In the summer close your blinds during the day to stop too much sunlight heating up your home, and in the winter keep them open.
- Check your refrigerator temperature. Keeping your refrigerator too cold wastes food and energy. Fresh food should be kept at 35°-38°F, and freezer for long term storage at 0°F.
- Stop frost buildup. Allowing frost to build up more than a quarter inch decreases your fridge’s efficiency. Do regular manual-defrosts of fridges and freezers to prevent this.
- Air dry dishes. Turn off automatic dry on your dishwasher and once the wash cycle is complete simply prop your door open to allow the dishes to dry faster. Doing this has your dishwasher running for shorter periods of time and using less energy.
- Use smaller appliances for cooking when possible. Using small toasters or convection ovens to cook or reheat small portions rather than a full-sized oven cuts energy usage by 30-50%.
- Clean your lint trap. Having a clean lint trap allows the dryer to vent out water vapor and dry clothes more efficiently, and it helps reduce the risk of fires. The best way to ensure this is to clean out your lint trap before every load.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. 90% of the energy usage of laundry machines goes towards heating up water, when a majority of clothes could be washed in cold water. Making this switch saves an average of $40 each year, and washing only full loads saves 3,400 gallons of water each year.
- Air dry clothes when possible. This practice saves you money because you use your dryer less while promoting energy conservation. Air drying is also gentler on clothes, helping to make them last longer, and is even recommended for some fabrics.
- Use low-flow showerheads. A low-flow showerhead of 2.5 gallons-per-minute or less, a ten minute shower saves you 25 gallons of water compared to a full bath tub. This saves you up to $145 each year in utility costs.
- Be smart when setting your thermometer. The smaller the difference between the temperature of your home and of the outdoors, the lower your bill will be. That means setting the temperature as high as comfortable in the summer and low in the winter.
- Schedule a free energy assessment with Mass Save. They will give your home an energy efficiency rating and offer personalized recommendations on how you can improve. For more information click here.
The ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint all while saving money are endless. The US Department of Energy created a great comprehensive guidebook of energy saving tips. Click here to see it. Follow RevoluSun on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram for continuous energy efficiency advice.
Top 10 Tips for Renters! https://www.energystar.gov/products/top_10_tips_renters
ENERGY STAR @ home tips: https://www.energystar.gov/products/energy_star_home_tips
Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/09/f18/61628_BK_EERE-EnergySavers_w150.pdf