Making a few simple tweaks around your home can save you hundreds on your energy bills. I complied a list of things you can do to save energy at home and increase your savings.
*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities. I am a Project Envolve Ambassador and have received product/compensation to facilitate this post. This post may also contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
As a PPL Project Envolve Ambassador, I’ve been writing about ways to save energy throughout the year. These tips are easy to implement and can end up saving you money on your home energy bills. Here is a list of all of the tips that were shared this year by myself and other Project Envolve Ambassadors:
Ultimate Guide to Home Energy Savings
- Use small electric pans, toaster ovens, or convection ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
- Use microwaves and slow cookers when possible. They use less energy than the stove or oven.
- Keep the inside of your microwave and oven clean. It improves their efficiency.
- Use your dishwasher only when it’s full. You can save 5,000 gallons of water each year and $40 in utility costs by using a dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes, according to the Department of Energy.
- Use the air-dry option on dishwashers. It saves energy and keeps the machine from using a heating element to bake your dishes dry.
- Unlike a refrigerator, a freezer works most efficiently when packed as full as possible
- Use a thermometer to check the temperature – Freezers should be kept between zero and five degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures that are too cold waste energy, and too warm temperatures can lead to premature food spoilage.
- Leaky door seals are a main culprit for energy loss in the freezer. Improperly sealed doors let cold air escape, making it work harder. Check door seals with the “dollar bill” test by closing the door on a dollar bill. A well-sealed door will keep the bill in place; if it falls out or slides around easily, it’s time to clean or replace the door gasket.
Get 30 days of slow cooker recipes here.
- Preheat your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you start cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature. A properly heated grill sears foods on contact and keeps the insides moist.
- Try cleaning last year’s gunk off your grill when it’s hot. After you preheat, use a long-handled wire grill brush on your grill rack to clean off anything that remains from your last meals. Scrape again immediately after use.
- Need to check to see if your meat is done? The best way is to use a thermometer with instant-read functions.
- To reduce flare-ups, select lean cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove poultry skin. Keep a squirt bottle of water nearby – just in case!
- Let finished meats rest on a clean platter, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes after they cook and before carving so juices can redistribute evenly.
- Always use fresh plates, utensils and cutting boards to prevent raw meat, poultry and fish from contaminating cooked food.
- Don’t sneak a peak! We know it’s tempting, but resist the urge to repeatedly poke, stake or flip your food. Give it time to sear and develop a crust. Turn only when grill marks form.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
- Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
- Avoid placing appliances that give off heat, such as lamps or TVs, near a thermostat.
- Use a fan. Ceiling fans will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without reducing your comfort.
Get more tips for keeping cool here.
- Adjust your thermostat. You don’t need to waste energy cooling your home while you’re not there. During your summer retreat, turn the A/C off or set the thermostat to 85-87 degrees. Just be sure the temperature isn’t set too high for any plants or pets staying behind.
- Turn off all fans. If you use fans often in your home, turn them off or unplug them when you leave. Remember— fans cool people, not rooms.
- Close your curtains and shades. Even though you’ve already turned up your thermostat, blocking out the sun will keep your home at a more consistent temperature and your HVAC will have even less work to do.
- Unplug your electronics. Most of the electronics in your home still use small amounts of power, even when they’re turned off. So make sure any computers, TVs, game systems, coffee makers, microwaves or other electronics are unplugged before you leave.
- Clean out your refrigerator. If you can, completely empty your refrigerator and unplug it. Just remember to leave the doors open to prevent mildew.
- Adjust your water heater. Turn down your water heater to “vacation” or “pilot” mode. Having readily available hot water on tap can account for up to 25 percent of the energy used in your home.
- Use automated timers. It’s a good idea to have a few lights on at night to make your home appear occupied while you’re away. But it’s a better idea to put a few lights on timers so that they aren’t wasting electricity during the day.
- Consider installing motion-activated lights outside your home. These lights turn on when there is movement near your home.
- Use an automatic timer for your pool. Make sure your pool filter is on a timer.
- Be sure proper chemical levels are maintained since the two go hand-in-hand.
Get more vacation prep tips here.
- Open windows – Opening windows creates a cross- breeze, allowing you to naturally cool your home without switching on air conditioners.
- Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fan – In the winter, the fan should push warm air toward the floor and rotate clockwise. In spring, switch the direction so the blades move counter-clockwise and draw air upward, cooling the room and ensuring constant airflow.
- Keep your blades clean – To get the most out of your ceiling fan, you need to keep it clean. While you’re up there changing the direction of your ceiling fan, dust the blades. You should check them once a month and clean them when needed. This is also a good time to check for dust around the motor housing.
- Install window treatments – Energy-efficient window treatments or coverings such as blinds, shades and films can slash heat gain when temperatures rise. These devices not only improve the look of your home, but they also reduce energy costs.
- Bring in sunlight – During daylight hours, switch off artificial lights, open the curtains and use sunlight to brighten your home.
- Service your air conditioner – Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or clearing air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15%. Spring cleaning could also serve as a reminder to call your HVAC professional for a thorough cleaning to ensure the system is performing at optimal levels.
- Cook outside – On warmer spring days, keep the heat out of your home by using an outdoor grill instead of indoor ovens.
- Update your landscaping – Landscaping doesn’t only add beauty to your home, but it can also improve your home’s comfort and lower your energy bills. On average, a well-designed landscape saves enough energy to pay for itself in less than eight years. Check out the Department of Energy’s website to determine what climate zone you live in and the top 3 landscaping strategies by climate.
Get more tips for natural cleaning here.
- Set your thermostat as low as comfortable (68°F).
- Set your thermostat at an energy-saving temperature while you’re in bed or at work.
- Make sure air vents aren’t blocked by furniture.
- Change your HVAC filter every month. If it looks dirty, change it.
- Seal off leaks in your air ducts.
- Change your thermostat’s batteries every year
Get more tips and a printable checklist here.
- LEDs use 90 percent less energy than regular incandescent light strings, last about 10 times longer, are cooler and are more durable all while still being super-bright! Also, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED holiday lights only cost 27 cents to run for 12 hours a day for 40 days, compared with $10 for incandescent bulbs. And because LEDs last longer, you’ll save year after year.
- Reflective ornaments will make your holiday décor even brighter when combined with LED strands. Fewer light strings and using less electricity is your strategy on this one
- Don’t forget to turn on your holiday lighting display, or worse, forget to turn it off and end up wasting electricity during late-night hours or during the day.
- Save some time and use your smaller appliances (microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker) to whip up holiday-inspired recipes. And don’t forget that generating the heat to cook all of those holiday treats requires a lot of electricity. In fact, the average kitchen accounts for 15% of your home’s energy use.
Get more holiday tips here.
Check out my list of Innovative Energy Efficient Products for your home here.
For even more money and energy saving tips, visit PPL Electric Utilities pinterest board.