If you were hoping to see energy prices come down this fall and winter, you’re in for a real disappointment. The U. S. Department of Energy released a report estimating that the costs for heating in the winter of 2007 are likely to be 22% higher than last year’s. That’s a steep increase. The good news is you can cut your costs by following some energy saving tips. I made quote a few of these changes myself in the past few years, and I can tell you they do work.
Energy Saving Tips: Electronics
One of the biggest drains on your energy consumption are your electronics, and if you’re like most families you’re probably have plenty of electronics on right at this moment. From computers to big screen televisions, all of these devices are increasing your bill.
You can save money by turning your computers off or having them hibernate whenever they are not being used. If you’re using a laptop, close the lid any time you don’t need to use it. Make sure your monitors are also turned off – they can use almost as much energy as the computer itself.
Also, make sure you turn off your television. Don’t leave it on all day and night as background noise. If nothing else, use the sleep timer included on most sets to have the television turn off automatically if you think you’ll forget to do it yourself.
Energy Saving Tips: Appliances & Lighting
Lighting your home may not be the largest part of your energy bill, but it can add up. Obviously, you should keep your lights turned off whenever possible to save energy. Another idea is to invest in fluorescent light bulbs. They last longer and save you money in energy costs, but they do cost more than ordinary bulbs.
Dishwashers and washers & dryers are definitely convenient, but they can also cost you more in energy costs. At our house, we have a rule: full loads only. If we only have a couple of dirty dishes, then we wash them by hand or rinse them then wait for more dishes to accumulate. The same is true with laundry. You can also choose to air dry your dishes instead of having them dried in your dishwasher.
I’d also recommend lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll still be able to take hot showers and clean your dishes, but you’ll also be able to shave a few dollars off your heating bill.
Energy Saving Tips: New Appliances, Windows, & Doors
If you really want to cut your energy bill, then you’ll need to make some investments in your home. Doublepane windows, for example, are more energy efficient and will lower your heating/cooling bills considerably, especially if you look for high-performance glass. You’ll also want to look for more energy-efficient doors and consider sealing up the cracks – those cracks can increase your bill more than you think.
Additionally, if you consider buying new appliances look for EnergyStar products. These products have been certified as more energy efficient so simply using them instead of your older appliances can save you money.