We are all in search of ways to save energy costs in our home. Whether it's due to wanting to lower your bill or wanting to reduce your footprint on the environment, we can all agree that saving energy is a great idea. Here are a few tips on ways you can reduce your energy consumption (and your energy bill) this winter.
1. Keep your thermostat low at night.
A lot of the heating costs of a home come from heating at night when temperatures are the lowest. While it may be very comforting to keep your home toasty and warm in freezing temperatures, it's also expensive. There are ways to stay warm at night without having your heat blasting.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and seven to ten degrees lower at night are the ideal temperatures to reduce energy consumption due to heating costs in the winter. You can stay warm by investing in warm blankets, socks, and bedclothes. Wearing layers also helps.
2. Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
The U.S. Department of Energy states that water heating contributes to about 18 percent of your energy bill. In many cases, people have their water heaters turned up too high, to a temperature that is scalding hot and that they'll never use. A warm temperature of around 120 degrees will suffice in most cases and will also be safer.
There are a couple of other efficient ways to reduce your energy consumption due to heating water. Insulating your pipes can help reduce heat loss when heating your water. It can also keep your water a few degrees hotter since you won't be losing as much heat.
3. Replace old water heaters.
While replacing a water heater can have a significant upfront cost, it may save you money on your energy bill in the long run. Not only will a newer water heater run more efficiently, but a different type of water heater may use less energy.
Solar-powered water heaters are a great example. They are available nationwide but are especially popular in the southeast. They may fully or partially use heat from the sun, reducing or nearly eliminating electricity use. A heat-pump water heater can also save energy costs. Since heat-pumps simply transfer heat instead of generating heat, it requires a lot less energy to work.
4. Change your light bulbs.
There are many light bulbs that are much more efficient than others. One example is using LED (light emitting diode) lights for Christmas decorations. These light bulbs are up to 75 percent more efficient than old incandescent bulbs and they last much longer since they have diodes instead of filaments.
CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) are another type of bulb that can save energy. While they aren't quite as efficient as LEDs, they are still much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. CFLs can have the appearance of an incandescent bulb but work similar to fluorescent bulbs.
If you're like us, you want to save as much money as possible. Saving money on energy costs is a start. There are a lot of ways to reduce energy costs and the above tips will get you going in the right direction.