As a freelancer in a fluctuating job market, I think a lot about how my household can reduce costs by reducing energy consumption.
I’d love to say we’re self-sufficient and have solar panels in the backyard and a wood stove that keeps us warm without the need for a furnace…but right now, neither of those things are practical solutions in my current reality. Maybe one day…but until then…I’ve got to work within my means and keep things simple.
I’d be willing to bet you’re in the same situation, and this is why you’re reading this post. Maybe you’re looking to save some money, or reduce your ecological impact, or maybe you’d like to be more mindful while doing the daily chores. Whatever your reason, these 7 simple ways to save energy at home can help.
1. Turn off your computer
There are some
Powering down is an effective way to conserve energy and you should do it when your device is inactive for more than an hour. EnergyStar also confirms that powering down instead of using a screensaver does not decrease your computer’s lifespan.
2. Switch to LED lights
The financial benefits here are two-fold: You save money because LEDs use less energy, and you save money because they last longer so you need to replace them less.
3. Wash your clothes in cold water
Heating water is expensive, and in this case, completely unnecessary. Speaking from experience, cold water loads wash clothes just the same, but for a fraction of the price.
4. Toss a towel in the dryer or hang dry instead
Tossing a clean, dry towel in with your wet laundry can significantly decrease your drying time—meaning less energy and less money spent.
If you want to further save money, and it’s feasible in your living situation, you can ditch the dryer altogether (or at least partially). You can hang dry on a line outside in the sun or on your shower curtain rod.
5. Close doors and use curtains
In wintertime, close the doors to unoccupied rooms so the hot air from the furnace stays where it’s needed most. In summer, do the same—close doors to keep the cold air concentrated in the areas of your house you’re actually using. When you’re not home, turn these appliances off.
You can also save on energy bills by installing some thick curtains that act as insulation.
6. Put a lid on pots and pans while cooking
Putting a lid on your pots and pans while cooking helps trap the heat inside and decreases the overall energy used for your meal. It also significantly speeds up cooking times.
When you leave these lids off, a lot of energy escapes quite quickly. It’s just not efficient.
7. Use the microwave, crockpot, or toaster oven instead of the convection oven
Your convection oven is an energy-suck, so it’s really best for your bills to use it less. Considering most meals don’t require the full space of the oven anyway, it makes sense to opt for something smaller like a microwave, crockpot, or toaster oven (depending, of course, on your recipe).
If you can’t forgo the oven altogether (I don’t blame you, neither can I) at least we can be