Top 5 Home Energy Conservation Tips

Whether your goal is simply to cut down on your monthly utility bills or to realize the more lofty aspiration of leaving a better world for the next generation, conserving energy around the house is always a good idea. There’s no denying that the earth’s natural resources are finite, so regardless of your budgetary constraints there will come a time when ‘more’ just isn’t possible. It’s up to each individual to make this a priority, and thankfully conserving energy doesn’t take much effort at all. You can go big if you so desire, installing solar panels and buying Energy Star appliances, but even a small change will add up to a large benefit over the long run. Here are five of the top home energy conservation tips to help you along.

First of all, avoid the waste of the phantom load. This sounds mysterious, but it’s actually quite simple. When your electronics or appliances aren’t turned on or in use but are still plugged in they are using energy. In fact, more than three quarters of the energy home electronics consume is used when the devices are actually shut down. That means it’s a huge waste that is completely unnecessary. The fix is easy. When you aren’t using something just unplug it from the wall or switch off the power strip. You’ll likely notice the difference on your next electric bill.

Although this next tip has been in circulation for quite some time, changing out your old lightbulbs for more sustainable versions is still a fantastic idea. This is a cheap switch to implement, and you won’t have to sacrifice one iota of your quality of life. Look for a CFL, or compact fluorescent bulb. They take 75% less energy to power, and will give you ten times the light as one of those incandescent relics. They’re a bit more expensive, but each one will make up the difference in half a year.

It’s also a great idea to get a programmable thermostat installed to run your HVAC system. People waste an awful lot of energy in the summer and winter, either cooling or heating their home when no one is around. People forget to turn it off, or leave it up too high when they go to bed at night. With a programmable thermostat you’ll be able to set certain parameters and won’t have to deal with it again until the season changes. The simple adjustments your programmable thermostat will make may well cut 15% off of your HVAC costs. And that’s a ton of energy savings.

Next, take a walk around your house and look for air leaks. This is an easy inspection to perform. Just turn on your HVAC system, light a candle and pass by all of your doors and windows. If the smoke from the candle flows towards the wall, there’s a leak somewhere. If you can seal up these small gaps or cracks in the frames you’ll realize a 10% savings on your energy bill each year. Your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard, and you’ll notice improvements in the internal temperature as well. And the fix is as simple as grabbing a caulk gun.

Finally, consider skipping the air conditioning for the rest of the summer and installing ceiling fans. These incredible devices use just a fraction of the energy as a central air unit, but when placed properly will be an incredibly effective tool for cooling your home. You can even use them in the wintertime to move the hot air away from the ducts and into the center of each room. Purchase theĀ Energy Star most efficient versions you can find and you’ll realize even more energy savings, in many cases as much as 10%.

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