It's the Little Things: 5 Small Energy Saving Tips

The energy efficiency of your house depends on all kinds of different factors, from replacing your ductwork system to turning off the lights when you leave the room. Even if you have all the big stuff covered, that doesn’t mean you get to slack off when it comes to using energy-saving habits. Remember: Every bit counts. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, each step you take still adds to a more energy efficient home and lifestyle. 

Unplug vampire appliances-
  • While this is not an unknown way to save energy, it’s pretty easily forgotten.
  • Energy vampires are appliances that don’t turn off. They either remain on “stand-by” mode or they simply stay on, but regardless, they suck out energy continuously from the lifeblood of your house. Hence the "energy vampires" name.
  • Use smart power strips, which will turn off those pesky appliances for you by shutting down anything that goes into standby mode. You can also simply turn them off, or group them onto regular power strips for an easier time turning them off.

Keep doors open-

  • When you keep doors in your house closed, it causes the air pressure to increase, which can possibly lead to your precious conditioned air to be sucked through any existing leaks into the attic, or even outside.
  • This is an easy fix: keep your doors open! Your house will have a single air pressure throughout and you won't lose your cold air.

Change the thermostat-

  • A programmable thermostat saves energy by allowing you to control the temperature remotely, and by adjusting the temperature by itself throughout the day in order to use the least amount of energy required. Some are advanced enough to learn your habits and adjust accordingly all on its own.
  • If your thermostat has a “vacation” setting, use it! Only keep your thermostat on when you need it. 
  • Even if a programmable thermostat isn’t an option for you, there’s still something you can do- keep this rule in mind: it is better to set the temperature higher during the day while you’re gone and bring it back down in the evenings when you need it than to consistently keep it cool. 

How you do laundry-

  • Use cold water in your loads- almost all of the energy required to do your laundry is just from heating up the water.
  • Wash only full loads.
  • Only run the dryer for as long as necessary. Even running it a seemingly small extra 10 or 15 minutes wastes a significant amount of energy. Try to stop it from running as soon as your clothes are completely dry- and drying full loads should help with this too.

Ceiling fan details-

  • Your ceiling fan should spin counter-clockwise, especially in summer. This will create a cooling, "wind chill" effect, as opposed to letting it run clockwise, which will cause the fan to recirculate warm air (which you might want in the winter, so don't forget where the direction switch is!).
  • This will allow you to cool down a bit without touching the thermostat.

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