I’m all about saving money anywhere I can, especially in those cold and hot months in Michigan. When we moved to this house we knew it was bigger. I wasn’t expecting it to have such huge electric bills. It was $500 per month during the hot Summer months (in Michigan). We had to do something as we could not continue to pay such high electric bills every month. So we’ve got a few energy savings tips we’ve incorporated into our life.
We had outdated appliances and a central air unit that was not the right size for our house. Making these changes, got our electric bill down to $200-$300 a month during the Summer.
Here are a few other ideas you can do in your home to save money.
energy savings tips for your home
1. Turn up/down the thermostat. Either turn up the AC so it’s a little warmer or turn the heat down so it’s running cooler (depending on your part of the country).
2. Run your washer after everyone has taken showers. This will have the water heater running once during the day.
3. Get a tankless water heater. Water will be heated on demand, versus waiting for you. It’s more expensive, but should save you in the long run. I would love to have one of these.
4. Turn the water heater down. According to Energy.com you can save 3-5% for every 10 degrees you turn down the temperature on your heater.
5. Turn off lights when not in use. If you are not in the room, turn off the lights. My kids are horrible for this (working on them) to save money. Better yet, install switches that turn off in no activity is noticed in the room (we love these in our bathrooms!)
6. Use CFL bulbs. They use about 75% less energy.
7. Unplug plugs that are not in use. They draw phantom loads waiting for you to turn them on. TVs are a big on. If you are going away, consider unplugging them (leave them plugged in if you have a DVR or plug in the DVR so your shows are recorded if you want). Any appliances that are not needed to be on, can be unplugged. Look for other items that can be unplugged.
8. Replace windows/doors. In the winter, we loose a lot of energy from our windows and doors. We have been replacing them as we can afford. I have noticed the kids rooms are much warmer in the winter. We had less drafts by the doors are we got storm doors until we can replace the doors themselves.
9. Check doors/windows for drafts. This is good to do a cooler windy day. You will feel the wind easier so you can fill the areas with insulation.
10. Run fans/ceiling fans to distribute the air throughout the house.
11. When it’s cold, bake! This will provide some heat. If it’s hot out, grill outside!
12. Check with your electric company to see if they offer a “residential time of use” program. Basically you get a lower rates when using electricity during off-peak hours (evenings and weekends may have lower rates). You can schedule your laundry, dishes, baking during those lower rate times.
13. Run the washer on warm or cold, instead of hot for all loads. We wash on warm for most loads.
14. Hang your clothes out to dry instead of running the dryer (during warm months).
15. Get energy efficient appliances. They use less energy. This will save you money in the long run.
16. Install central air – this may keep your house one temperature and only run when needed. Unlike A/C units that run continually, using potentially more electricity. Make sure it is the right size for your house. We ended up getting a unit for upstairs and one for downstairs. It was worth the expense and will pay for itself over time.
17. Peak times? Check your electricity/gas providers to see if they have peak times where they charge more for using their service. Plan to do laundry/dishes outside of those peak times.
18. Check with your tax preparer (or investigate yourself), there may be tax deductions for some of these changes. Some utility companies also offer refunds/rebates to people who upgrade their appliances.
What are your energy savings tips?