Energy Saving Hacks
We’ve all opened an energy bill, and gasped in absolute terror. Yeah, they get pretty expensive, and pretty outrageous. Let’s talk about trimming it down, keeping it green, and setting up some healthy habits for the future. You want to keep the bills low and keep more cash in your wallet, but you’re also helping the environment in doing so. Let’s break down the top energy saving hacks to keep the cost of electricity down.
1. Opt for Smart Home Features
Smart homes aren’t just about making things bend to your will, it’s about being smarter with your overall money. Smart speakers help you control the lights when you call out a voice command. Smart doorbells (with night vision) help cut down on energy from motion-activated lights outside. Smart home devices in general are designed to save you a ton of cash.
A few more than come to mind are smart light bulbs and outlets. You can set mood lighting to cut down on energy use, reduce utility bills, and form some healthy habits on keeping that energy down. Smart thermostats are also excellent to keep summer energy at an all-time low.
2. Invest In a Portable Solar Panel
Can’t afford that crazy Tesla solar roof? Most of us can’t. But you can still put out some energy saving vibes and keep it green with a portable solar panel. These cost you around or less than a hundred bucks on average, allowing you to just position it out the window on a sunny day, and soak up those rays.
The great thing about these is that you’re not committed to keeping them on the roof, or making your home look ugly. You also don’t bust any HOA regulations or any of that bull. Use it to charge your phone, your tablet, laptop, smaller appliances that require bits and pieces of energy here and there.
3. Stop Using the Dishwasher
One of the best frugal hacks on the planet that we can offer is to ignore your dishwasher. To put it into perspective, there’s a ton of different angles that save you money here. You don’t have to buy those expensive dishwasher packets, you’re not running the water heater for nearly as long, you’re not running the electricity that the front requires, and on top of all that, they always come out spotty and crummy anyway.
Wash them by hand, and let them air dry. You’ll be totally amazed with how much better they look, and the big difference on your monthly energy bill. On average, if you let this appliance just sit there and rot, you’ll save twelve to twenty bucks a month. Basically, it’s like saving all the cash you spend on Netflix each month.
4. Reduce Your Water Heater Temperature Threshold
Turn the heat down, and you’ll also be turning the total on your electricity bill down. You really want to know how to save energy at home? This can save you an average of $130.00 per year, and doesn’t really change the way you use hot water throughout the home. You want to turn it down to 120 degrees, and you’ll find that it’s probably set to 135 degrees, as most contractors usually set it to.
If you’re wondering if this is going to have negative implications on washing your dishes and bathing, the answer is no. You’ll be able to kill germs, keep those glasses looking shiny, and feel just as refreshed stepping out of a hot shower. It’s also indirectly going to save you on total gallons of water used per month, since you won’t have to max blast it to get that heat.
5. Smart Strips
If you can’t do this one, then you’re not committed. One of the easiest ways to save some energy in your home is to take those electronics and pull them out of the wall. Plug the power strip into where they were, and turn the strip off when not in use.
I personally don’t want to unplug all my stuff when not in use. I never remember, but flicking that glowing button is the same as unplugging three energy-sucking devices, but takes little to no effort. This one takes a little while to get in the habit of, but saves you absolute loads of cash.
6. Get Your Hands Dirty
You’ll need a spouse or a mate for this one, but this once-yearly task can give you some serious home energy saving benefits. You’re already running your AC or your heat, but do you have any idea how much of that is not staying in the house? Time to get ready. Get an extension cord and a hair dryer, give it to your buddy. You’re going to get clear caulking and a pair of gloves, and head outside.
Now have they blow hot air through every possible area around the windows and doors. Use your forearm, and feel how much hot air is coming out. If you can feel actual hot airflow, that’s a spot that could be tidied up. You’ll be surprised at how many air leaks you find, and how much money you were wasting on heating or cooling the outside world. You’ve already got a few of these items lying around, but if you have to get caulking, you’ll spend maybe ten bucks to save hundreds per year.
7. Get a New Shower Head
I know, we already talked about water a whole bunch, but this one is killer, and is a great augment to turning the temperature on that water heater down. You’ll use less water if you grab a new shower head, and look for this one little feature: 2.5 gpm or less of water flow. This means a little less pressure, but since you found this article, you’re pretty dead-set on saving that energy.
If you spend an average of 5-7 minutes in the shower, and you swap out for one of these shower heads, you can save up to 2 gallons of water. You bathe every day, that’s 60 gallons of water per month. Have four people in the house? 240 gallons. You can look at your current bill and figure out how much that’ll drop by, but on an annual average, a $25.00 shower head can save you up to $60.00 in the first year. It pays for itself in no time.
8. Have an Open Layout
Sounds silly, but hear us out. If you have a radiator, central air, wall-mounted, window or portable air conditioners, there’s a good chance that they’re not in a good spot. If you have any furniture near the vents or window and you can feel them getting super hot or cold, depending on what you’re using right now, then that’s wasted heating and cooling costs.
An open layout will give you the ability to have that air circulate more freely. This also comes down to figuring out the best spot to stick and angle the unit. If it’s a wall or window unit, you’re obviously stuck with where it is, so rearrange the room to accommodate. You’ll feel it getting hotter/colder way sooner, kill that thermostat, and you’ll be able to shut it off, saving you money.
9. Invest in a Toaster Oven
Microwaves dry food out, so you throw that leftover pizza in the oven, or last’s night dinner on the bottom rack. It takes ten to fifteen minutes for that oven to preheat, and God knows how long to heat up your food. It’s a heat killer, no matter which way you swing it. A toaster oven doesn’t dry your food out, keeps that crisp action going, and uses far less energy than your conventional oven. Partially due to size, partially due to actual voltage being used.
10. Use Energy Saving Modes on Your PC, TV, and Smartphone
How many times do you charge your smartphone? There’s an actual thing called charging anxiety, where you see that 15% or 20% notification pop up, and your heart flutters for a second. Keep energy saving mode on, keep bluetooth off, and that’ll help. Now, when it comes to your TV or PC, they’re definitely too bright. You don’t have to check, we can already tell.
We increase the brightness because we can’t see it, but they’re so bright they’re damaging our eyes. Seriously, it’s not good. You can either get a pair of blue blocker shades, or just lower your laptop/TV brightness setting by one each day, so your eyes adjust to it, and you save cash in the long haul.
And That’s It
Saving money means saving energy, and in this green-conscious world, that’s a big up. On top of that, it means you’ll stress less about bills, enjoy your free time more easily, and have a better grasp on production and waste, which will spill over into your other budgeting goals for other bills in your home. If you liked this article, be sure to share it on Facebook to let your friends and family know how they can save money on their energy bills. You don’t want to hog this information all for yourself, do you?