There are plenty of ways to conserve power in your home all year long. How many are you taking advantage of?
We’ve all been there. The utility bill comes in; you open it. You gasp and rub your eyes. There’s no WAY! It didn’t seem like the power was on that much. You walk through the house turning off lights in empty rooms, turning the temperature up a little on the refrigerator, and think about getting rid of your dryer and using a clothesline all year.
The fact is, we’d all like to save money on our utility bills. You can take some big steps, like installing solar panels on your home or replacing all your appliances with energy-star rated models, but there are lots of little ways to conserve power that add up pretty quickly.
15 Ways to Conserve Power
that no one told you about
1. Start using your refrigerator
To thaw frozen foods, that is. Instead of using more power to thaw foods that come out of your freezer, move them to the refrigerator to thaw slowly. You can always use your microwave or oven to finish the job if you need to, but since your refrigerator is always on, try to plan ahead and take advantage of the power you’re already using.
2. Put a lid on pots and pans
Speaking of kitchen appliances, you can save power by putting a lid on pots and pans. Food cooks faster this way, so not only do you use less gas or electricity, but you also get to eat sooner!
3. Change your dishwasher settings
If you aren’t using the energy efficient setting on your dishwasher, you could be spending $37 per year that you don’t need to. Skip the heat/dry setting and opt for air drying. Your dishes will be just fine.
4. Keep your appliances clean
The refrigerator is an especially notorious energy hog. Keeping the coils and any filters clean could save you big on electricity use.
5. Clean the dryer vent
When is the last time you cleaned the exhaust hose on your dryer? Lint and dust build up here can reduce the efficiency and drying capacity of your dryer. This isn’t a task you’ll need to do often, but it’s a good one to have on one of your home maintenance lists.
6. Clean household air filters
Clean or replace any household air filters to increase the efficiency of your central air and heating.
7. Move plants away from heating and cooling vents
Large plants, especially, can block the airflow, making your heater and air conditioner work harder.
8. Use light colored lamp shades
They will reflect more light than dark shades.
9. Install a programmable or smart thermostat
Okay, this is one people probably HAVE told you about, but the fact is, they can save you a lot in power consumption and money. They are also not as expensive as you might think.
10. Get an energy audit
Many utility companies offer free energy audits for customers. Some will even give you new, energy-efficient light bulbs and water-saving shower heads.
11. Unplug chargers
Once your devices are fully charged, unplug your chargers. They continue to draw power when they’re plugged in, even though they aren’t charging anything.
12. Use your slow cooker
It might be buried in the back of a closet, but your slow cooker isn’t just an energy-efficient way to cook, it’s also easy. What’s better than a home-cooked meal that’s ready as soon as you walk in from work?
13. Use your windows effectively
You can increase your heating and cooling efficiency by using your windows strategically. In winter, add insulation to keep warm air in. During the summer, use light curtains to allow light in, but keep the heat out. If it’s comfortable, open your windows and let fresh air circulate.
14. Have a barbeque
You don’t need an excuse to cook outside. If it’s warm enough, taking your meal to the grill can help reduce the heat in your home from using your oven.
15. Look for rebates
Your local utility company may offer rebates for customers who purchase energy-efficient appliances, including smart thermostats and air purifiers. Some also offer rebates or incentives for upgrades to your home, including roofing products, windows, and even light fixtures. Go to energystar.gov to find available rebates in your zip code.
There are dozens of more ways to conserve power and save money. There are the obvious ones, like turning off lights when you aren’t in a room, lowering the temperature on your water heater, keeping your air conditioning around 78º in the summer and keeping the heat below 70º in the winter. You can also read some of our other blog posts about keeping your home warm in the winter or energy-efficient ways to keep your home cool in the summer.
Another way to take care of your home is through the right home insurance. Call your local Pekin Insurance agent today to find out more.