5 Tips to Lower Energy Costs

shutterstock_296032781Energy costs seem like they are constantly rising, but there are minor changes you can make that help you cut your energy costs each month. If you’re sick of paying more and more for power, check out these five tips that are sure to save you some money.

Keep Heating/Cooling Vents Open

When you close heating and cooling vents, you may think you’re saving energy by not heating or cooling an unused room, but that isn’t the case. Even with the door shut, the cold room pulls heat from the rest of the house, creating drafts and forcing you to turn up the heat. During the summer, this happens in reverse. The rest of your cool home pulls hot air out of the uncooled room.

Unplug Appliances You Rarely Use

If you don’t use something very often, unplug it. Certain appliances use more energy even when they aren’t being used (video game systems, computers, TVs and electric kettles), but all appliances waste some amount of energy when you aren’t using them (if they’re plugged in). For your computer, if you prefer to leave it on all the time, just make sure to have it hibernate, so it uses less power.

Use Less Energy When Heating and Cooling

This one’s hard because you like to stay toasty during the heating season and cool during the cooling season. However, if you set your thermoset to about 10 degrees less (or more during the summer), it can save you significant money on your energy bills. If you can’t do it all the time, at least do it when you are at work or sleeping.

Stop Pre-Washing Your Dishes

If you have a modern dishwasher, you shouldn’t need to prewash your dishes. Yes, you’ll need to scrape them clean, but you don’t need to actually wash them clean. If you do, you need a new dishwasher. A new dishwasher will also be more energy efficient, especially if you get an Energy Star labeled one.

Use Your Washing Machine Wisely

The washing machine can waste a lot of water and energy, especially if you wash your clothes with hot water, which isn’t usually necessary. When possible, wash and rise your clothes with cold water. Also, make sure to always run a full load. Most washing machines allow you to set the load size, so even if you do need to wash a small load, you can set the system to use less water and energy.

You don’t have to run out and purchase brand new appliances or switch to solar power to save money on your energy bills. Even small changes can go a long way.

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