3 First Steps to Saving Energy at Home

Learn season-appropriate steps to reduce your energy bill

As the green movement gains momentum, awareness about our household's carbon footprint and energy use move to the forefront of our minds. Increasing energy savings in the home is a new priority for many, and not everyone is willing to take drastic steps to do it. However, there are simple steps you can take to increase your energy savings without radically changing your home by installing solar panels or energy-efficient appliances. Apply these tips that will save energy while also saving you money.

Unplug appliances

According to the Arizona Department of Commerce’s Energy Office, many plugged-in appliances continue to draw electrical power even if they are not on. Newer appliances with digital clocks or televisions that continuously monitor the airwaves are never really off. A University of California study showed that the average household could save between $50 and $75 per year if they unplugged appliances while not in use. This includes cell phone chargers, microwaves and older appliances that are not energy-efficient. Take a step to save energy and unplug any appliances you're not using.

Cut heating energy consumption in the winter

During the winter months, most of your home's energy is used for heating. The most commonsense way to cut down on this energy use is to lower the thermostat, especially at night when you are under blankets. Open the south-facing blinds and shades during the winter to let in as much sunshine as possible. This will decrease your lighting costs and also give you free heat from the sun.

When the sun sets, use heavy drapes or insulated blinds to keep the heat in the house. If you take baths during the winter, don't drain the bath as soon as you get out. Let the heat from the water contribute to raising the temperature of the house. Close the doors of any unused rooms so you don't waste energy heating them.

Cool your home naturally in the summer

During the warmer months, the same rules apply as in the winter — the most energy the household will use comes from temperature control. When it is warm outside, you will want to take steps to save energy by cooling the house naturally and decreasing the number of times the air conditioner turns on.

Firstly, raise the temperature on the thermostat and turn on your ceiling fans. Close the blinds and drapes during the day to keep the hot sunlight out of the home. When the sun sets and the temperature cools, open the windows to let in the cooler air. Avoid using the oven or stovetop when possible, because they contribute to higher temperatures in the home. Also, avoid taking long baths that can heat the air in your home. Just like in the winter, keep the doors of unused rooms closed so you don't waste money cooling them.

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