You’ve been hearing it since you were a kid: Save energy. Cut power costs. Help the planet. And now that you’re a homeowner, you’ve taken care of all of the basics: turning down the thermostat, using fans or space heaters, and even changing to those newfangled light bulbs.
And after all that, you still think your utility bills are too high. So you may be wondering: Are there any creative ways to save energy that you haven’t heard about?
Chances are, you could probably pare a few more bucks off of those monthly bills if you adopted one or more of these surprising energy-saving measures.
1. Utilize power during non-peak hours. When everybody in the area is using electricity in the daytime, it creates more strain on the utility system. But running your dishwasher, clothes washer, and other appliances at night (or overnight, if you’re up) helps conserve energy.
2. Break out the ice trays. Most refrigerators have that cool little ability to make ice cubes. But unless you need ice daily, it’s a huge energy-sucking feature. Using old-fashioned ice trays can slash your fridge’s energy usage by up to 20 percent!
3. Wrap your water heater. As efficient as your water heater may be, it still loses heat through its outer frame. Putting a fiberglass "blanket" can trim up to nine percent off of your water heating bill. (And if you haven’t already, turn down the water temperature to save more energy.)
4. Go tankless. When the time comes to replace your water heater, opt for a tankless model instead of a traditional one. Tankless water heaters only heat the water when you turn on faucets, instead of all the time like their "tanked" counterparts. That saves a bunch of energy.
5. Get motion sensors. You’re probably astute at turning off lights when you leave a room. But your kids? Well, they’re a work in progress. Nip this in the bud by buying a few motion sensors which are programmed to turn off lights when everyone leaves a room. Problem solved.
6. Kill the vampire. The term "vampire power" refers to the wasted electricity generated when electronic devices are plugged into chargers or outlets. Not only can you unplug them, but larger units like TVs and stereos can be plugged into a power strip and turned off when not in use.
7. Opt for a laptop. Did you know that the average laptop runs on a third less energy than desktop models? For that secondary (or even primary) computer, you can ditch the desktop and conserve energy.
8. Light up your corners. Here’s a little-known fact: putting a lamp or similar light fixture in a corner with a lower-wattage bulb will provide the same illumination as if it were put in the middle of a room with a more powerful bulb. That’s because light reflects off of the adjoining walls to brighten the room.
9. Get an energy audit. This is a procedure in which experts come into your home and identify ways that you can save energy. It’s like a professional organizer cleaning up your closets — only with home energy auditors, you don’t pay a thing! Moonworks can provide you with a home energy audit. Just fill out our form or call 1-800-975-6666.