Five Tips for Creating a More Energy-Efficient Household

Making your home more energy efficient is not only environmentally responsible, but fiscally responsible as well. By making a few simple changes around your home, you can conserve energy and reduce your monthly utility bills. Here are a few simple “household hacks” that will help improve the efficiency of your home.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Even though programmable thermostats have been around for quite some time, most people don’t even bother actually taking advantage of the programmable features. All too often, programmable thermostats remain at the same temperature all day, with minor adjustments made manually on occasion. Without effective programming, a thermostat provides very little in terms of efficiency and cost savings. Instead, consider purchasing a “smart” thermostat like the “Nest Thermostat”. Unlike a traditional programmable thermostat, the Nest learns and remembers when you adjust the cooling or heating in your home. For example, if you regularly turn down your AC at night, Nest will quickly notice this pattern and begin making the adjustments for you, automatically. A smart thermostat (like the Nest) can also sense when you have left the house and adjust the temperature accordingly. You can even keep an eye on the temperature and make adjustments via your smartphone. By installing a smart thermostat in your home, you can save a few hundred dollars a year in energy costs. For a savings estimate tailored to your specific home size and zip code, visit com/thermostat/real-savings/.

Convert to LED Lighting

If you still have the traditional incandescent filament bulbs throughout your home, you may want to consider upgrading to more efficient LED lighting. Light bulbs that use LED technology (short for “light-emitting diode”) use approximately 1/6 of the electricity that standard filament bulbs use. In addition, LED bulbs typically have a lifespan of 30,000 hours, which is much longer than the 1,500 hour lifespan of traditional bulbs. When it comes to electricity savings, a single LED bulb lit for 5 hours every day will cost around $2.01 a year to operate. This is a significant savings over a standard incandescent bulb, which costs $12.05 a year in electricity. The more bulbs in your home, the more you can save by converting them to LED. In one year’s time, a household with 25 bulbs can save around $250 in electricity costs by converting to LED technology. To calculate your potential savings (including factoring in the initial cost of the bulbs), check out the handy calculator on this website:

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Don’t Pre-Rinse Dishes

Another quick water-saving tip is to simply stop pre-rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Most modern dishwashers can easily handle the grease, grime, and remnants leftover on your dishes. A simple scrape-off into the trash will take care of the larger chunks. By skipping the pre-rinse, you can save up to 6,500 gallons of water per year.

Replace Your Air Filter Often

A dirty filter can greatly reduce the efficiently of your HVAC unit. Make it a point to stock up on air filters the next time you’re at your favorite home improvement store. Then, set a reminder on your phone (or on a wall calendar) to change the filter out every 2 months. Sure, you could probably stretch it to 3 or 4 months between changes, but filters are relatively inexpensive, and the energy savings are worth the trouble.

By incorporating these and other home efficiency tips, you can substantially reduce your energy consumption. Plus, you’ll save a decent amount of money along the way!

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