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Easy Ways You Can Save Energy

We all want to save money every month. Whether it’s to save up for a big purchase, build up an emergency fund for future disaster, or simply putting back money for retirement, a little extra cash now and then is always welcome. For many of us, we spend a lot of money on utilities. Whether it’s the gas we spend cooking food and heating our homes or the electricity we use lighting up the night, utilities are a constant expense. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get around those costs daily and, as everyone knows, saving a little on utilities every month will add up quickly.

Energy Vampires and Leak Current

One thing we don’t’ think about often is just how much energy we waste on things we aren’t using. A single cell phone adapter left in an outlet drains only a little bit of current throughout the day, but add in multiple adapters, always-on computers, electric toothbrush chargers, and any other electrical devices that stay plugged in and you have a lot of energy going to devices that aren’t being used. This is especially true when it comes to newer TVs and home game consoles. All of these devices tend to feature an “always-on” mode that allows for voice commands and automatic updates. They’re energy-conscious, but they do drain energy. If you haven’t been using a device in a few weeks, it’s worth losing the convenience of constant-connectivity to save a few watts.

Lighting and Appliances

These are more traditional energy costs. While we’re all used to turning out lights when we leave a room, energy-efficient lighting has made this a less-effective tactic (but still worthwhile). There is one exception though. Fluorescent lights use more energy to ignite than they do to run, if you’re planning on being in and out of a room throughout the day, it’s better to leave the light on than it is to turn the light on and off constantly.

You should also take the time to review your appliances for heat loss. Upgrading to a newer model may be cost-prohibitive right now, but you don’t need to replace your appliances to save on energy costs. Most appliances require regular maintenance to stay energy-efficient. Have water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers, and washing machines all maintained. Keep an eye out for hard water and calcifications inside water appliances and clean out any mineral deposits you find to promote energy-efficient use.

Other Tips

Cleaning – Dust, dirt, and debris are a problem for your home. Most of the energy spent in the home comes from heating and cooling. Either heating water for your indoor plumbing, or controlling the general climate inside your home. Dust traps heat and clogs airways. When too much is present it becomes harder to cool your home and makes it more difficult for electronics to operate without substantial heat output. As an added point, vacuum the refrigeration coils on the back of your refrigerator once a year to cut down on power losses from the fridge.

Heating and Cooling Leaks – A lot of energy that’s spent on heating and cooling is lost to leaks both inside and out of the home. A pressure check of your ventilation system will detect leaks into the crawl spaces of your home (this will require a professional) but you should also perform a check for drafts, gaps, and leaks that lead to the outside. You want to control how heat is transferred outside of your home, and allowing warm air inside during the summer (or the reverse during the winter) is just going to force your central air system to work harder, draining your resources.

It’s amazing that a few simple tricks and techniques can help you save energy from electrical losses. If you’re willing to spend a little extra on the startup, you can also spring for more energy-efficient devices.