If this month’s power bill had your jaw hitting the floor, it may be time to take an audit of your home’s most vicious energy culprits. There are a number of ways to reduce your energy dependence without shivering in the dark. Here are a few of the biggest bangs for your sustainable buck:
The laundry room can be one of your home’s most power hungry spots. To cut the power used for cleaning your clothes, wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible. The energy required to heat all those gallons of water will be instantly erased. Better yet, clothes hold up better under cold water washing, making this move a true win-win.
In summer months, cover your windows when you’re not home. You’ll keep cool air in and heat-creating sunlight out, thus reducing power devoted to air conditioning. Can’t cover everything? Focus on southern-facing windows. That’s where most of the sun will hit.
A dishwasher uses the same amount of power whether empty or full. Why does that matter? Waiting to run your time-saving machine until it’s completely full will conserve energy in the long run. And if your dishwasher has an air dry option, use that instead of the energy-hungry heat dry method.
Outdated water heaters can cost homeowners an arm and a leg in electricity. If you have the budget, consider updating yours to a solar model or tankless system. Both heat water with a fraction of the energy of yesteryear’s technology.
Think you need to install cutting-edge technology to reduce your dependence on the power company? Consider the heating and cooling methods of centuries gone by. Yes, sometimes it’s as simple as wearing extra layers in the winter and lowering your thermostat by a couple degrees. And in winter months, keep those shades up to let in naturally warming sunlight.