I have found in recent discussions with friends, that many of us are forgetting the “common sense” things in life when it comes to saving money and energy.
I compiled a list of a few energy saving ideas that several of us agreed we need to be more watchful of, and hopefully, our energy bills will go down and our bank balance will go up.
Take a 5 minute Shower
Yes, sometimes we need to relax in a long, hot shower after a stressful day, but not all the time. Many times we can be in and out and perfectly clean in 5 minutes or less. Being intentional about getting clean and getting out quickly will save you time, and money on your water and heating (hot water heater) bill. Multiply this times the number of people in your household and the savings could really add up.
Turn off lights when you aren’t in a room
Most of us have switched to the more energy-efficient light bulbs, and we all agreed that if you are going in/out of a room, it doesn’t make sense to turn the lamps off and on because they do take a minute to fully light up. We also agreed that we sometimes need to leave a lamp on in a room while we are out, etc so we can see when we get home or for security reasons. We all agreed to make a concerted effort to use the lowest watt lamps for this purpose.
However, we do not need to leave on multiple lamps in the same room when it’s not in use, or if the additional lighting isn’t necessary. One friend mentioned that out of habit, they turned on four lamps in their large family room every evening. Only she and her husband were typically using the room to watch television, and for 2 weeks they just used one lamp. They found that they actually preferred the room dimmer, and over the long term will likely see some savings from not using the other three lamps every night.
Unplug things you don’t use regularly
Some argue that you should unplug everything when it’s not in use. That doesn’t work well for my family. Instead, we unplug things we don’t use daily. The toaster and a few other small appliances we use throughout the day, so we do leave those plugged in. Phone chargers, the blender, and other appliances that we use occasionally get unplugged after we are done with them.
Check the thermostat in your home
In the summer, we wear shorts and light clothing around the house and drink plenty of water. We keep the thermostat set at a comfortable temperature for this. Not too hot, but not cold. In the winter, we tend to keep it more on the cool side. We dress warmly, wear thick socks, and use blankets. It’s not cold in the house, but it doesn’t need to be hot either.
When we moved into this house, I used some old curtains we had on most of the windows, but didn’t have enough to cover them all. Yes, they had blinds, but they needed curtains too. When I went to purchase the curtains, they only kind in stock happened to be the energy efficient kind. Being thrifty, I didn’t want to pay the extra money for these, as I had never used them before and didn’t know if they really made a difference or not. I was shocked to see just how well they worked. Enough so that I went back and bought energy efficient curtains for all the windows in my house and donated my old curtains to a charity!
If you are thinking of reducing more your electricity bill, I’ve written another blog post about this very topic. And of course, I’d love any additional energy saving ideas that you might have!