When looking at costs, household electricity consumption is often overlooked for the more obvious expense categories, like travel and food. In the United States, however, the average household pays a whopping $122 per month on electricity, according to the Energy Information Administration. Your electricity bill might be higher if you are living in states that charge a higher kw/h rate. With energy cutting a huge chunk off your paycheck every month, proactively reducing your energy consumption is commensurate with saving more money over time. Here are six things that you can do today to save energy at home.
Cut Back on Showers
Daily showers are important for proper hygiene. That said, your shower time could be weighing heavily on your energy costs. The longer you shower, the more water you consume, which ultimately means more energy consumed and higher utility costs at the end of the month.
This becomes even worse during peak temperature seasons when you are using cold or hot water to shower. In fact, the average shower in the US lasts for 8.2 minutes and consumes up to 17 gallons of water in the process.
That’s roughly two gallons of water per minute, which means reducing your shower time by five minutes can make a huge dent in your monthly water consumption.
Take Advantage of Smart Home Technologies
An effective and modern way to conserve energy in any residential or commercial property is by gaining a deeper insight into how and where the electricity is being consumed. Energy monitoring software is designed to help you identify which devices and equipment are consuming the most energy and execute plans to reduce overall consumption.
Use Cold Water For Chores
Be it cleaning dishes or washing your clothes, cold water is typically better for surfaces and fabrics, not to mention better on your wallet. Note that up to 90% of the energy that your laundry or kitchen washer uses is directed towards heating up the water, so switching to cold water can reduce your energy consumption by that much also.
That said, make sure you follow the washing instructions for your clothes. Some fabrics may need to be washed in hot or warm water.
Check Your Air Filter
Your HVAC system is designed to filter the outside air before it circulates into your household. Over time, the amount of dirt and debris filtered by your HVAC system accumulates and blocks air from passing through unimpeded. This forces your system to work harder in order to maintain the desired indoor temperatures.
Make it a point to check your air filter’s condition every couple of months. As a general rule of thumb, experts suggest replacing the air filter every six months. Apart from the air filter, have a specialist do a full checkup of your heating or cooling system so that any issues can be repaired or replaced immediately.
Unplug Your Devices
Leaving your computer monitor on isn’t necessarily a grave sin when you’re trying to save energy. That said, leaving it on 24/7 can drain energy. And while these are only a few cents worth of wattage, they can add up to a hefty sum over time.
Multiply this by the number of devices your household uses and charges on any given day, and you can see how unplugging your devices can be a financially beneficial habit. You can invest in plug-in smart outlets that let you schedule device usage and control the outlet remotely and via voice.
Adjust Your Fridge and Freezer Settings
Setting your fridge and freezer temperature too low may lead to food spoilage. In addition, it can also be burning a hole through your pockets. Rather than trying to guess what the perfect temperatures are, follow what the experts are saying and turn your fridge temperature to 38 degrees and your freezer to 5 degrees.
These are only six of the many changes you can do today to curb your energy consumption at home. Not only are these simple changes but they also do not affect your lifestyle in a major way, which means there is less resilience when trying to integrate them into your everyday life. Before implementing any major changes, e.g. electrical or structural, make sure to consult a professional beforehand.