Winter is just around the corner. For many parts of the world, that means colder temperatures, wind, rain, and even snow and ice. It might not seem like the best time of year to think about saving energy. But, energy conservation isn’t a “seasonal” practice. It’s something you can take part in all year long.
While your main focus might be staying warm this winter, there are ways to do that while still saving energy. As a result, you’ll also be saving on your utility bills! You probably didn’t know things like electric wall radiators could be energy-efficient, right? Well, think about how many other things you might not know when it comes to conserving energy in your own home.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few tips you can put into practice immediately to make your home more energy-efficient this winter.
Stop Losing Heat
Most people want their homes to be warm in the winter. But, cranking up your thermostat wastes a lot of energy and will cause your electric bills to skyrocket. If you feel like raising your thermostat is the only way to get your house warm, you might be losing heat in other ways.
For example, if your home isn’t properly insulated, heat will seep out through the roof. In essence, it’s like your home is leaking money by allowing the heat that pumps through the furance to almost completely dissipate into the sky. Make sure you have adequate insulation throughout your home to keep the heat trapped inside.
Additionally, it’s a good time to “winterize” some areas of your home by making sure the doors are properly sealed, as well as the windows. These small upgrades only take a few minutes of work but can make a big difference in how warm your home feels.
Similarly, if your home has a conservatory, it’s also a good idea to trap as much heat within it as possible. Hang up some blinds for conservatory to prevent the large amount of glass in there from becoming a leak, put down a rug, and ultimately just pad out any extensions that may be insulated differently to the rest of the house.
Start Saving Water
The average American household uses about 300 gallons of water each day. If that sounds like a lot, consider how often you flush the toilet, wash dishes, do a load of laundry, etc.
If you’re also concerned about improving the water efficiency of your home, there are a few things you can do.
One of the easiest changes you can make is to install low-flow showerheads. They only take a few minutes to replace your current showerheads and use about half of the amount of water that a traditional showerhead splashes out.
Additionally, you can choose to get smart with your water use. For example, don’t leave it running unnecessarily, take shorter showers, and only use the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load to do.
When you do take a shower, try to avoid using extremely hot water. Nothing might sound better on a cold winter day. But, using hot water requires your water heater to kick in, which ends up using even more energy. If possible, set your showers to lukewarm. If you can, try to tap into the benefits of taking cold showers!
Maintain Your HVAC System
So many people make the mistake of not getting a tune-up on their HVAC systems. Regular maintenance will help you to ensure that your system is working properly. Someone who works on HVAC systems will be able to keep it clean and functioning the right way. Additionally, they might be able to look at any clogs or problems with your air ducts that could be wasting energy.
Unplug Things You Aren’t Using
Have you ever heard of the term “energy vampire”? It refers to something that uses a lot of energy without you realizing it. Something that is “sneaky” or something that you wouldn’t think sucks up a lot of energy.
One of the biggest culprits of this problem is the use of leaving charging devices plugged in when they aren’t in use.
How often do you leave your phone charger plugged in all day when you’re far away from home with your phone? As it turns out, that’s very normal. But, it is eating up quite a bit of electricity all day while it’s not being forced to “do” anything.
The solution here is simple; unplug your charging devices when you’re not using them. If you want to get really creative, unplug something whenever it’s not in use. You might be surprised at how much money you can save while protecting the planet.
Ask For An Energy Audit
If you know that you want to do more for the planet and start from home, you’re already on the right path. But, you may not know where to begin. One of the best places to start is to set up an energy audit. This usually performed by a professional who will inspect every aspect of your home.
They will be able to tell you where you might be losing energy, how you’re spending it, and what you should do about it based on your lifestyle as well as your needs. If you’re feeling totally lost or overwhelmed about the state of the world and the increasing lack of energy, working with an auditor is a great place to start. Most energy auditors charge either by the hour or by the square footage of your home. You should be able to get an accurate quote before hiring one.
It’s Easy to Save Energy and Stop Losing Money
As you can see, even making a few small changes within your home this season can make a big difference. Depending on how many of these changes you’re able to put in place, you might be amazed at how much money you can save on utilities.
Of course, you can also opt for making bigger changes. One of the easiest ways to do that is to switch out your appliances for energy-efficient models. This, of course, is a bit of an investment. But, it’s an investment that will pay for itself in a short period of time thanks to the money you’ll save on your monthly electric bills.
Sustainability is a necessary practice for everyone if we want a brighter future for the next generation. Thankfully, it can start in your own home.