You don't have to invest in a $45,000 solar array on your roof in order to help your home be more energy efficient. There several things you can do around the house to help decrease those energy bills and help promote a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Although some of these ideas will require dedication on your part, you can save a great deal of energy by eliminating a few power drains that you may not realize that you're doing.
1. Light Bulbs - If you haven't invested in compact florescent light bulbs or LEDs, now is the time to buy them. These bulbs use far less power to produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs. These energy savers can be greatly beneficial in a home that uses light fixtures often such as those with basement living rooms.
2. Standby - Even in a "sleep" or "hibernation" mode electronics are still draining power. Although this power drain is quite small, it is still a waste as opposed to simply turning it off. Computer monitors are regularly left on by users without thinking about the power that is still being consumed after they walk away.
3. Line Checks - There are small, cheap socket testers that will detect if your wiring is faulty. In some cases, faulty wiring could lead to lost power as it is grounding out somewhere within the walls. Aside from this being completely dangerous, it can also cause a house to essentially "bleed" power. You may be surprised to find how many sockets are faulty within your home.
4. The Windows - Although it may look somewhat tacky, taping cardboard to your windows can eliminate a great amount of heat from entering into your home. It can also help keep the rooms cooler when the air conditioner is running. Coincidentally, this also works to help keep the cold from entering the home during winter in order to allow the heater to efficiently warm your residence.
5. Sensor Switches - For under $30, you can install motion sensing switches that will power on and off the lights of a room based on movement. How often does your family or yourself forget to turn off lights when leaving the room? This is a cheap alternative to ensure that they are turned off when not in use.
6. Miniature Solar Array - There are many cheap ways you can build a solar charger for just about anything. Using a few AA batteries and a $5 solar panel, you can keep your phone charged without plugging it into a wall socket. These are also great for other projects such as cooling fans for your desk.
7. The Computer - An average desktop computer system will drain a great deal of power when it's turned on. Contrary to some beliefs of techs, powering down your computer system nightly is not only good for your energy bill, but it will prolong the life of many moving parts and peripherals connected.
Conservation of energy is more than just an idea to help save the planet. For every kilowatt-hour you save, that's one kilowatt-hour of power the plant doesn't have to produce. This process can trickle down in the form of saving power for others in your neighborhood and assisting against brownouts that may occur due to inadequate power supply from energy companies. Practice a form of conservation in your home and save some money for the other things in life you enjoy.
-This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.