One of the best ways to go green at home is to think about ways to save energy, it goes hand in hand with an eco-conscious home.
What is energy conservation?
If you are asking yourself, "how can we conserve energy at home?" It's very simple, don’t have the tap run for so long, take short showers, and unplug appliances when they’re not being used. As you think of creative ways to save electricity it starts by making a conscious decision to use less energy. Most people at the start of the year wish to save money so it is quite beneficial in the long run, especially if you are already taking steps to live more sustainably. Not to mention by lowering the amount of energy we use, we slow down fossil fuel depletion and help clean up the environment.
Why should we conserve energy?
For starters, the main energy sources are fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas.
Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources that we depend on to heat our homes, run our vehicles, and provide us with electricity. However, if we keep using them at the rate we are now, they will eventually run out.
We know that fossil fuels negatively impact the environment, so how do we conserve energy? How can we stop the burning of fossil fuels? Burning oil, gas, and coal leads to carbon dioxide emissions endangers people’s health, and contribute to global warming.
The primary benefits of conserving energy are protecting the environment, lengthening the existence of fossil fuels, and saving money.
How does conserving energy save you money?
As we speak about more ways to conserve electricity we must share the financial benefits such as lower utility bills, delays in fossil fuel price increases, and providing you with more opportunities for tax credits and rebates.
However, if fossil fuels continue to diminish, they will be less readily available. For example; drilling, and mining, can become very difficult and eventually become more expensive. Every time the cost increases it adds to the consumer’s expense.
By using less energy consumers can help to conserve energy and reduce our fossil fuels. In addition, we are already exploring creative ways to improve our renewable energy sustainability options, like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. As we start to rely more on our renewable sources then we can save our fossil fuels and slow down the price increase.
A very helpful way to save money by conserving energy is through your utility bills. The initial steps you take towards energy conservation will be a lot easier on your monthly utility bills. Another easy way to check your energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions is by having an audit. These energy conservation practices will let you see significant savings over time.
How conserving energy helps the environment?
As you reduce the amount of energy you use, it helps to lower your impact on the environment. If we ignore the issue there is a bigger chance for the threat of the climate crisis to affect our daily lives. If we continue to burn fossil fuels it creates so many greenhouse gas emissions. The gas emissions include carbon dioxide which exceeds more than the atmosphere can absorb and prevents the planet from being able to maintain a stable temperature.
We know that whenever the Earth’s temperature rises it is referred to as global warming, thus climate change is what we call the side effects which include rising sea levels, droughts, hurricanes, and so on. That’s why it is very important to limit your use of energy emissions in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because you save coastal land, improve air and water quality, and protect reefs.
Conserve energy in the kitchen
1. Turn your refrigerator down
A refrigerator already consumes an average of 13.7% compared to the rest of the energy used at home. Try to reduce your fridge to 37 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer to 3 degrees Fahrenheit to conserve electricity at home.
2. Seal the refrigerator doors
The doors are used to trap the cold in a fridge or freezer but people neglect the seals, creating a sneaky escape route. A trick to check if your sealed door is leaking is to place a piece of paper between the seals and the doors, if the paper moves, you need better seals
3. Take all of the cooking items out of the fridge
It’s easy for the cold to sneak out of the fridge, when you cook take out all the items you need at once instead of opening and closing the fridge door over and over again.
4. Use small appliances for small jobs
You can use up to 50% less energy if you use small appliances. When cooking or reheating small quantities of food use a small appliance such as a microwave oven or toaster oven.
5. Allow food to cool down before placing it in the fridge
Placing your hot leftovers in your fridge can force the appliance to work overtime to keep things cool. If you let the food cool down before you place it in the fridge, the fridge will use less electricity. And of course, use better food storage containers.
6. Turn off the oven early
When you are baking you can turn off the oven a couple of minutes early and the heat will continue to bake your yummy treats. Keep in mind that it also applies to boiling food on the stove.
7. Defrost before cooking
Save energy and plan ahead by putting out your frozen food to defrost rather than using your microwave or oven.
8. Try cooking food in batches
An important energy-saving trick is to make sure you cook as much food in one go. If you are cooking multiple sides it is better to bake them together. This comes in handy when you’re cooking a big meal, or you share a kitchen with others.
9. Use a slow cooker and/or rice cooker
It’s great to have different options for the oven because it may need extra time to cook. I know that they only use a little more energy than a traditional light bulb.
10. Resist the urge to peek in the oven
Try not to open your oven every minute because every time you do so the temperature drops to 25 degrees. The oven will then have to spend extra time warming back up. Set a timer and you can conserve energy by reducing the number of times you open the oven.
11. Use lids on pots and pans
Keep pots and pans covered and help to trap the heat then you can cook things quickly without having to turn up the burner so high. Fun fact it saves about 3% in energy costs, per pan.
12. Keep your stove clean
By keeping the stove clean it eliminates bits of burnt food or grease and simply absorbs heat allowing electric stoves especially to not work efficiently.
13. Dry your dishes
Don’t use the dry cycle instead dry your dishes the old-fashion style by just opening the dishwasher door and letting your plates air-dry.
14. Boil water properly and avoid water waste
There is no need to fill your pan or kettle to the top if you use a minimum amount of water to boil food or prepare a cup of tea. Using more water requires more energy used to boil but as a household think about investing in a rain barrel to save more money.
15. Use a dishwasher
You may think you are saving water by not using a dishwasher but this is not the case. Dishwashers use less water to wash the dishes (3-5 gallons) compared to washing them by hand (22-23 gallons). Make sure to run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded. The same amount of water and energy is used even if your dishwasher is not fully loaded.
Conserve energy in the bathroom
16. Short showers
Keep your household accountable for taking shorter showers. The average 10-minute shower uses about 18 gallons of water so taking shorter showers can save both water and energy. Build an eco-friendly competition on easier ways to go green in the bathroom.
17. Replace baths with showers
It already costs a lot to heat hot water and by filling up your bathtub with water you are using way more than you would use to take a quick shower.
18. Switch to water-saving showerheads
Many bathrooms are designed with a showerhead that’s an older model. Most of the older showerheads dispense about 2.5 gallons of water every minute. You can save water and conserve energy if you install a modern low-flow showerhead instead.
19. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing
If you leave the tap running you waste more than six liters of water a minute so by reducing the water flow you save about $21 per year.
20. Unplug devices when they’re not being used
All electronics including toothbrushes, nightlights, hair straighteners, electric razors, and others use so much power even when not in use or turned on.
21. Fix any leaky faucets
Nothing is worst than having a leaking faucet but if you fix the hot water leak can save you up to $33 per year in your electricity costs.
22. Use motion sensors or timers
Sometimes we tend to forget to turn off bathroom lights especially in households with kids. Try installing motion sensors or timer switches to bathroom lights so it’s easier.
23. Air-dry your hair
Using the hairdryer and straightening iron every day is not always recommended. Air-drying your hair is not always the best choice if you want to save energy and time in the mornings.
Conserve energy in the laundry room
24. Wash with cold water
Probably the number one rule for conserving energy is using cold water instead of hot when doing laundry. Washing clothing in cold water makes it less likely to shrink or fade and ruin clothes. Coldwater can also reduce wrinkles, which saves time and energy costs.
25. Wash in full loads
Washers use the same amount of energy no matter the size of the load, so make sure each cycle is filled with fuller loads. And choose natural laundry detergent to avoid harsh toxins in the home. And if you must use fabric softener, choose an eco-friendly one.
26. Save energy by placing enough clothing to dry
The loads should not be too small because they can take longer to dry and you spend more when you dry only a few clothing items. Note that if the dryer is too full, it will take longer for the clothing to dry as well.
27. Switch loads while the dryer is warm
Conserve energy by using the remaining heat inside of the dryer for the next cycle.
28. Hang clothing load to dry
It is much better to hang your clothes to dry outside or on a drying rack. Save more and avoid using the dryer altogether.
29. Use dryer balls
If you need to use the dryer perhaps use wool or rubber dryer balls to help eliminate time, separate your clothes, give them more air and also reduce static. Get rid of dryer sheets that are toxic to your home.
30. Clean the lint filter
After every drying clean the lint filter for the dryer to run more efficiently and safely.
Remember to clean the filter once a month to remove film buildup that can reduce air circulation.
31. Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle setting for the washer
By using this setting you can remove as much moisture as possible before drying, and reduce your drying time.
32. Separate your clothes
When washing and drying your clothes separate heavier and lighter-weight clothes. You will spend less time drying the lighter-weight clothes.
33. Use a cool-down cycle
By using this setting the heat remains in the dryer when it finishes drying your clothing.
34. Use the moisture sensor
A lot of brand new dryers come designed with a moisture sensor, and automatically shut off the machine when clothes are done drying. This feature will save you money and energy plus reduce the wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.
35. Sign up for a time-of-day program with your utility
This is a program that offers lower energy costs at certain times of the day but precisely at nighttime and on weekends.
36. Use an ENERGY STAR-certified washer and dryer
The latest ENERGY STAR washer only uses about 25% less energy than conventional models, and the ENERGY STAR dryer only uses 20% less energy.
37. Consider a gas dryer
This all depends on accessibility and the rates of gas and electricity in your area. A gas dryer may cost less to use although it may be a little more to purchase.
38. Place the dryer closer to an outside wall
If the dryer is much closer to the outside wall it will take the exhaust air longer to travel and the less energy the dryer will use on every cycle.
Conserve energy in the home
39. Switch out bulbs to LEDs
They last longer and use up to 80% less energy than a standard light bulb.
40. Install Weather Stripping for your doors and windows
Weatherstripping is an easy solution to better insulate your home and decrease your energy bill. Plus it’s beneficial all year round because, in the summer, it will ensure that the cool air from your air conditioner stays indoors.
41. Find the right temperature
Finding the best temperature for comfort and saving energy is tricky but it requires experimenting with your thermostat. For the summer months, it is recommended to be set at 25.5 degrees C and adjust the setpoint by 1 or 2 degrees at a time. Overall you want to feel as comfortable as possible for both summer and winter.
42. Set back your thermostat when you're away
Lowering the thermostat up to two degrees while you’re away from home during the winter can help significantly to conserve energy and save on heating expenses. They don’t recommend it for the summer because it’s much harder to keep cool given the need to factor in humidity control.
43. Switch your energy providers
Save money by switching energy providers. They have a range of tariffs that provide an easier way to budget and plan ahead.
44. Use smart home apps
Use smart home apps to help you to track and monitor your devices. They allow you to turn them on and off whenever you would like to, so perhaps include a smart home app for the household to know how to properly get rid of e-waste.
45. Close and cover your windows in the summertime
During the summer your home gets humid and your central air conditioning unit cools your home by removing moisture, so it’s important to keep your windows closed. If you keep your windows open, you let in humidity, which will make your air conditioner run longer to reach a cool indoor temperature.
46. Use your ceiling fan
A smart way to save on energy is to use your ceiling fan to help keep your home cool. In the summertime run your fan counterclockwise to create cool air without using the air conditioner, saving you lots of money. During the cooler months, run your fan clockwise to help push the warm air that rises to the ceiling down into the rest of the home without creating a breeze.
47. Seal your chimney
For those who have a wood-burning fireplace, it is important to close your chimney damper in the summer. Heating and cooling can warp a chimney damper, in turn, affect how well it seals.
48. Ensure attic ventilation
Save more money on heating and cooling by ensuring adequate ventilation throughout your home. During the summertime, proper ventilation moves hot air out of your attic, cooling your home and by winter, proper ventilation keeps warm, moist air from forming condensation and lowering your insulation’s effectiveness.
49. Plant hedges and shrubs to insulate your home
During the summertime, the trees provide shade to homes more often, and shrubs help insulate your exterior walls from heat and cold. Hedges and shrubs help to increase biodiversity in the yard and conserve energy by shading in the summer and wind blocking in the winter.
50. Installing solar panels for your home
Of all the changes you can make, installing a solar panel might be the most expensive. However, solar panels are driving the future of clean and efficient energy so if you decide to ever renovate your home it would be a great long-term investment.
Final thoughts on How To Conserve Energy At Home
Making small, simple changes in your home can make a big difference to your pocketbook. You do not need to do these all at once. I suggest you start with one and go from there.
I'd love to hear from you, how do you conserve energy at home?
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