Cut Energy Costs At Home: 5 Easy Ways

With the economy in tatters, and unemployment still hovering around 10%, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet. In some homes, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and small appliances is consumed when they are turned off; according to the Department of Energy website. There are lots of ways to save money through energy efficiency at home. But before you start storming through the house wildly unplugging things to save a few bucks you need to know what areas in your house are costing you money. Here are 5 tips on how to save real money just by keeping your house from using power when you’re not around.

1. Perform A Home Energy Audit

Do a home energy audit. This tells you the places in your home that you may be losing money. You can either hire someone to do this audit professionally or do it yourself. Seeing that you are looking to save money, you can do it yourself fairly easily. The Department of Energy website goes into all the details and tells you exactly how to give your home an energy audit, the link is below.

2. Install Green Switches

Cut your energy consumption by installing “green switches” in your home. A green switch is a device that controls the power to all electronics plugged in to the green switch outlet. All electronics use power even when they are turned off because they draw power from the outlet while they are plugged in. Just think about the TV, dvd player, stereo, and computer. Every night while you are asleep and they are powered down, they are still sucking electricity while they are plugged in. Think of a green switch as a light switch for your electric outlets. Just don’t use them for electronics that need power continuously to function. For example; your DVR or refrigerator.

3. Light Bulbs

Light bulbs are an easy way to save big money in energy costs. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs, they are a little more expensive than traditional bulbs but last up to 3 times as long and use far less energy as traditional bulbs. If you like the traditional bulbs you can still save money. Use less light bulbs than you are used to. Most kitchens, bathrooms, and dining rooms have multiple light sockets in their light fixtures. Instead of using two 100 watt bulbs in the kitchen, try using one 150 watt bulb. Four light bulbs in a dining room seems a little much, two will give plenty of light. The Department of Energy website says it is better to use fewer bulbs at a higher wattage than more bulbs at a lower wattage. Use motion sensor lights for the outside of your home rather than keeping an outside light on all night, or use solar powered outside lighting.

4. Digital Thermostats

You would be surprised at all of the millions of homes that still have thermostats over 15 years old. Digital thermostats now have all kinds of functions that, by design, save you money on your energy bill. They are more accurate in getting the proper room temperature which means the system runs only when it needs to. You can also give it specific times to turn on and off through out the day and night; which is more efficient than just setting the thermostat higher when no one is home.

5. Insulation and Drafts

Every spring and fall you should go around your house, inside and outside, and check your insulation and check for drafts. Replace any insulation that is rotting, falling out, or has been damaged. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal windows, doors, and any other areas that are not sealed properly. Check doors for drafts, the garage for holes or weather damage, and the basement and attic for possible damage.

There are dozens of ways to trim you energy bill. These will get you started on the road to energy savings. Green switches, digital thermostats, and energy efficient light bulbs may seem like small potatoes to you, but just give it a try, and watch how your energy bill shrinks in size. As an added bonus you will be also helping the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Next time you are looking to save a little money, look around your house for more ways to reduce your energy costs.

Home Energy Audit: http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11170

Sources: www.energysavers.gov