4 Ways You’re Using Too Much Energy

*this is a guest post

Consistently high energy bills are frustrating for homeowners and a burden on the finances. Closely scrutinizing what is causing your energy bills to skyrocket is the first step to reducing consumption and costs. Responsible energy consumption saves you money and reduces your carbon footprint, thereby conserving non-renewable resources. Consider these four possible causes and ways to mitigate them, if your home is using too much energy.

Your Electronic Devices Are Always Plugged In

Electronic devices such as computer monitors and related hardware, home entertainment systems, phone chargers, etc. are the major culprits that draw power, even when they’re not in use. You often leave them plugged in so they are ready to use when you need them, but these “vampire” electronics keep utilizing power, making your energy bill soar. The Department of Energy states that vampire appliances consume as much as 10 percent of the energy used in American households.

Power Saving Tip: To stake the vampires, find and unplug all the electronics that are not in use. Be sure to check all the rooms in your home. Installing a power strip is a smart option that makes it more convenient to disconnect multiple electronic devices at once.

Your Home HVAC Unit Is Not Energy Efficient

Your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system consumes half the energy used in your home. If your HVAC system is not in top operating condition or is outdated, it will consume more energy to maintain an ambient home temperature.

Power Saving Tip: Service your HVAC unit at regular intervals and replace clogged air filters every three months. Install a programmable thermostat to limit energy use when you’re away from home and at night. Programmable thermostats give you greater control of your HVAC system and prevent energy waste. Seal all ducts and repair the leaks in your home, allowing your HVAC unit to run efficiently.

You’re Using Traditional Incandescent Bulbs

 

Image via Flickr by Anton Fomkin

The vast majority, 90 percent in fact, of an incandescent bulb’s output is in the form of heat energy rather than light, which leads to increased energy wasted. Incandescent bulbs last only for 700 to 1,000 hours compared to compact fluorescent lamps that have a longer lifespan of up to 20,000 hours.

Power Saving Tip: Replace all the incandescent bulbs in your home with energy-efficient bulbs such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and halogen incandescent to reduce your energy expenditure by 25 to 80 percent.

You’re Using Outdated Home Appliances

The average U.S. home spends $5,500 on energy annually, and if you are using old home appliances this figure will be much higher. Home appliances that are 10 years or older will consume more energy compared to newer, more energy-efficient models.

Power Saving Tip: Install energy-certified models of major household appliances to save up to 30 percent less on energy. Practice energy-efficient methods of using your appliances, such as laundering your clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot, running the dishwasher only when you have a full load, and not keeping your refrigerator doors open for prolonged periods.

Making your home energy efficient takes you a step closer to green living and positively contributes to the environmental preservation efforts of conservationists worldwide.

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