When you’re looking for ways to save money, where do you start? Most likely, you’ll start with the obvious categories. Dining out less, buying fewer name-brand grocery items, cutting streaming services, etc.
Improving energy efficiency in your home is an easy way to cut costs as well. Plus, you can start with little-to-no investment up front. Here are some easy tips in three categories to improve energy efficiency at home and start saving money.
Start with ENERGY STAR®-certified light bulbs
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. government program. It certifies home appliances based on their energy efficiency.
Buying new appliances, like air conditioners, washers and dryers, ovens, etc. can be a large investment up front. The easiest starting point is to switch to ENERGY STAR-certified LED light bulbs.
ENERGY STAR-certified light bulbs have the following benefits:
- Use 90% less energy
- Last 15 times longer
- May save about $55 over their lifetime
Control your heating and cooling
Heating and cooling are the biggest users of energy in your home and the costs can add up quickly. Here are some tips to reduce heating and cooling costs:
- Use a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature when you’re gone during the day. It can turn your AC or heat down when you’re gone and set it back when you return. Programmable thermostats start at around $20.
- Weatherproof your home. Keep your windows and doors properly sealed year-round.
- Replace your filters regularly to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently.
- Use your ceiling fan. This could let you increase your temperature by 4 degrees without reducing comfort.
Reduce electrical use
This one seems obvious. But there are some easy things you may not have considered:
- Don’t charge your phone overnight. Charge it up during the day and unplug it when the battery is full.
- Cook food in your microwave instead of stove or oven, when possible.
- Open your blinds during the day to use natural light and keep your lights off more. But keep them closed when you’re gone during hot weather. This will reduce your air conditioning use.
- Turn your electronics off when you’re not using them. This includes your computer, monitor, printer, etc. Remember to unplug them when possible, as well. Even when they are turned off, electronics can use electricity when they are plugged in.
You don’t have to make big investments to start reducing energy use. You can save money by making small changes in your home and your daily routine. Think of each change as one step towards your financial future.
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