Conserving and reducing your home’s electricity use is one way to reduce energy costs.
You can reduce your home’s power use not only by making changes to things electrical, but also by modifying the heating system for your home.
Here’s a mix of ideas to try out:
1. Make your refrigerator more efficient
Setting your refrigerator’s temperature controls to as close to 37 degrees as possible can reduce the energy this power-hungry appliance consumes use a thermometer if the controls don’t indicate the temperature. It’s also a good idea to check the gaskets on the fridge and freezer doors to ensure that they seal correctly to prevent cool air from escaping.
2. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs
Compact fluorescent bulbs produce as much light as conventional incandescent light bulbs, but only consume 1/5 the electricity to do so. They also last about six times longer than incandescent lights.
3. Install automatic light sensors or timed sensors on outdoor lighting
Outdoor lighting is a great way to improve the security and curb appeal of your home during twilight hours. But if you home’s exterior lighting relies on manual switches, it’s likely that you’re leaving lights on during daylight hours.
4. Unplug electronic devices when not in use
Despite being turned off, most home appliances such as mobile phone chargers, televisions, home entertainment devices, printers, computer monitors and coffee machines still draw a small amount of power when not in use. Unplug these devices or plug them into a power strip that can be turned off when not in use to reduce your home’s power consumption.
5. Insulate your home to prevent heat loss or intrusion
For homes with electric furnaces, mitigating energy loss by adding more insulation to the walls, attic or basement can reduce electricity consumption during colder winter months. The same goes for keeping cool air in and hot air out during the summer when electrically driven air-conditioning units cool a home.
Another way to mitigate losing heated or cooled air, and thereby the energy needed to produce it, is to ensure exterior doors have proper weatherstripping and windows are weathertight to prevent drafts.
6. Add insulation to hot water lines and the water heater
If your home features an electrically powered water heater, you can reduce its power consumption by wrapping the hot water supply lines in foam insulation sleeves, which can be found at most hardware stores. Insulating a water heater in an insulation jacket can reduce energy use, too.
7. Turn off lights when not in use
It’s probably the easiest thing you can do to reduce energy waste, but it’s often the most overlooked action a homeowner can take. One high-tech way to simplify this easily forgotten task is to hire an electrician to install motion-sensing switches that automatically turn off lighting when a person’s presence is not detected.