10 Uncommon Ways to Save Energy in Your Home
Most homeowners and renters are very familiar with the tried and true ways to conserve energy around the house. We all know to shut the lights off in unoccupied rooms, unplug appliances when they’re not in use and only do full loads of dishes and laundry. There are, however, additional steps you can take to lower that escalating energy bill. These 10 suggestions range from simple fixes to more complex modifications.
Block your chimney
Do something about heat’s favorite exit strategy. An unblocked chimney translates into a higher heating bill. Chimneys can be professionally capped, but if you don’t have the bucks for it, you could invest in an inflatable chimney balloon. There are also transparent and opaque fireplace shields that can be easily removed when you want to put your chimney to use.
Believe it or not, your electrical system isn’t wired for optimal use. Voltage optimization is the controlled reduction of the voltages received by anything that uses electricity in your home. Depending on the size of your home, this modification can save you considerable money. The savings come in the way of improved efficiency by appliances. These devices should only be installed by professional electricians.
The common misconception when it comes to energy-efficient showerheads is that it comes at the sacrifice of water pressure. Not only can these eco-friendly shower heads further strengthen the water pressure you love so much, but they’ll regulate both the amount of water you use and your water bill. As an added perk, the amount of energy consumed to heat the water will also be mediated. You can also install faucet aerators on your sinks to conserve even more water.
If you live in a colder climate, the cost of heating may be the bulk of your energy bill. Cavity wall insulation is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run. Grants for this type of renovation work are often available locally from energy companies. Seal windows, doors, attic entryways and piping to draft-proof your house. Sober estimates claim that about a quarter of your heat may be seeping out through an uninsulated roof. Even if your attic has existing insulation, it may be worth adding another layer.
Turning off the oven moments before your meal is done cooking will save you some energy, and the residual heat in the oven will finish cooking your meal. For certain meals, microwaves take less time and use less energy. Keep your pots and pans lidded for quicker cooking times. The heat won’t escape, and for many meals this process will ensure a more thorough distribution of heat. Cut the food you’re about to cook into smaller pieces to further decrease their cooking time.
Dirty condenser coils in the back of your refrigerator will cause it to consume more energy. Regularly cleaning the coils of dirt and dust will improve their efficiency. Additionally, keeping your freezer well stocked greatly improves its efficiency. Buy seasonal fruits and veggies and keep them frozen for year-round use.
Shift your furniture
Make sure that furniture isn’t blocking heating vents or radiators. A sofa that’s blocking your heat source can be a safety hazard in addition to being bad for your energy bill. Conversely, installing a shelf above your heat source can help deflect the heat into the room and prevent it from rising to the ceiling.
Toilet water control
An easy and effective means of lowering your water bill is to put an insoluble object in your toilet tank. A brick works well for this quick fix. Most toilets don’t need as much water as they consume to do their job effectively.
Leaving your coffee maker on to keep your coffee warm can be a daily waste of energy. After brewing, shut your coffee maker off and pour the leftover coffee into a thermal container. Glass and stainless steel thermal containers tend to preserve the taste of coffee best.
Corner the lamps
Place lamps in the corners of rooms so they’ll have more surface area to reflect off of. This move will minimize the amount of lights you need on. Regularly dust the bulbs and lamp shades for optimal lighting.