If you have to take a deep breath and brace yourself before opening your energy bill each month, it's time to make changes in how you consume electricity or gas. You've probably been told a million times to turn the lights out when you leave a room, but there are four other things you can do to reduce your energy consumption.
1. Fill 'Em Up
Every time you run your dishwasher or washing machine, you consume electricity as well as water. When you complete partial loads, you waste both of these valuable resources. It is always better to fill the machine up before pushing start.
2. Upgrade Windows and Doors
Even a subtle draft slipping in around your windows or doors will cause your heating or air conditioning system to run excessively. While energy-efficient doors and windows do require an up-front investment, they will quickly deliver a full return on your investment as your energy bills drop for many years to come (Source: MoncadaWindows Doors & Siding).
3. Time Your Activities
Time your daily activities so that they cause the least possible amount of change in room temperature. For instance, you know that cooking an elaborate dinner in the oven will increase the room temperature in at least part of your home, so it's best to do that during the coolest time of day. While this requires an adjustment in your daily schedule, it can keep your heating system from kicking on so that your bills aren't inflated.
4. Maintain Your HVAC System
It doesn't take much to make sure the filter is changed on a routine schedule, and most repair services offer contracts for seasonal maintenance checks. If it has been awhile since you've serviced your system, you may even need to clean the vents or upgrade to an energy-efficient system. When you keep your system in good working order, you avoid costly repair bills and ensure the system operates as efficiently as possible.
You may also consider adding a timer to your thermostat. This allows you to automatically warm or cool your home just before you return from work or other activities while running your system as little as possible in your absence.
Ntice that many of these tips require a one-time action that doesn't affect your lifestyle in any way. This proves that you can control what you spend on energy without giving up the comforts of modern life. It's all about using those comforts responsibly.
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