Show of hands – How many of you have “save more money” on your New Year’s resolution list? Obviously, we can’t see who raised their hand but we’re willing to bet at least some of you reading this did.
Whether you’re saving for retirement, a child’s college education, a home remodeling or repair project, or that vacation of a lifetime, the truth is with the rising cost of food, utilities, clothing, and everything else needed to function, saving for anything can be challenging. Yet with some simple changes at home, you can not only save a few bucks but reduce your energy consumption – and that benefits everyone.
Give these 8 tips a try.
Lower the Thermostat
One of the simplest ways to save on heating and cooling costs is to lower the thermostat by just one or two degrees during the colder months of the year and raise it by one or two degrees during the warmer months. You’ll reduce overall energy consumption and utility costs without sacrificing comfort.
Turn Off Lights
The lights – a common source of tension in many households. This one task is so simple to do yet so hard for many to remember. If you’re tired of turning lights off after people, consider investing in an occupancy sensor that will turn the lights on automatically when someone enters the room and turn them off when it is no longer occupied. Or for a less expensive or permanent solution, grab some motion sensor light switches and place them where needed.
Switch to a Cold-Water Wash Cycle
Anytime an appliance calls for hot water, electricity, water, and possibly gas add to energy costs. To save money and reduce energy consumption, make the switch to cold water. Cold water is also gentler on fabric so your clothing items will last longer.
Today, you can satisfy just about any food craving with the touch of a button, but all that take-out, restaurant delivery, and drive-through eating can make it nearly impossible to stay within your food budget each month. Meal planning will help you save money and eat healthier, too. You can also build some meals around food items that happen to be on sale that week. Make a double batch to use as leftovers for lunch or freeze half for a night you don’t have the time or energy to cook.
Use a Toaster Oven
When preparing a small meal for one or two people, use your toaster oven instead of your full-size oven. On average, a toaster oven only uses about a third of the power of a full-size oven to cook or bake the same meal.
Put Window Treatments to Use
Window treatments are not purely decorative. During cold weather months, leave drapes and blinds open on sunny days to allow natural light to warm the room. At night, keep them closed to keep warmth in. Keep window coverings closed during hot summer months, too, to prevent the sun from heating up the room.
Switch to LED Light Bulbs
While more expensive up front, LED light bulbs use at least 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You don’t need to make the switch all at once – just replace each burned-out incandescent bulb with a compatible LED bulb until the entire home has been converted.
Ditch the Disposables
Many of us purchase an incredible amount of disposable items every month, like paper cups and plates, plastic cutlery, paper towels, and so on. Instead of restocking these items that end up in the trash, consider switching to more permanent, sustainable solutions that can be cleaned and used again and again.
Want another money-saving tip? Have your heating system professionally inspected once a year by the home comfort experts at Air Professionals. And it’s not to late to check this task off your to-do list. Annual heating system maintenance is the best way to ensure your system is ready to keep you warm this winter and many more to come. However, if your aging system is on its last legs, we can help with that. too. Contact us today for annual preventive HVAC maintenance, repair, or new system installation.