You may have already read articles on money-saving energy tips to help you kickstart a prosperous new year. You probably think you’ve gone through them all! Or, maybe you’ve gotten your first energy bill of the year and you’re wondering if you can do more. Here are five easy things you can do today to lower next month’s energy bill.
1. Put your DVR in power-saving mode
Did you know that your cable box is the second highest energy consumer in your home? The average DVR watt usage can rival that of refrigerators! Constantly running even while you aren’t watching, those hours of un-seen content can really add up when it comes to your monthly bill. An easy solution? Go into your settings and turn on power-saving mode! What does this do? It sets an idle timer on your box (you can customize how long you want it be). If you haven’t flipped a channel after a certain amount of time, your box will ask you if you’re still around. If you don’t respond, it will turn itself off. Don’t worry—your favorite shows will still be recorded! And the savings? Well, maybe you can spring for that on-demand movie this month!
2. Plug your other electronics into an advanced powerstrip
Many homes have a lot of different electronics plugged into their television. Between your receiver and your game systems, you probably have a cabinet full of power-hungry machines. Many of these machines consume energy when they are plugged in, but not in use. Why give them power if your television is off? An advanced power-strip is a marvelous solution: it turns off power to your other devices when your television turns off!
A word of caution: Make sure that you do not plug your DVR into your advanced power strip or else it will be off and your favorite shows won’t record.
Another word of caution: Be careful about when your turn off your television. Some of your favorite electronics (like gaming consoles), need to be properly shut down before you turn them off. Make sure they have gone through their cycles before you turn off your television.
3. Switch out your light bulbs
You’ve heard it time and again: LED light bulbs are easy, energy efficient wonders that fit in your fixtures. Newer-generation bulbs come in all sorts of different brightness, warmth, and are even compatible with dimmers. LEDs do not contain mercury, do not heat up, and last for thousands more hours than a traditional incandescent bulb. So, while you will pay slightly more for an LED bulb (A 4-pack will run you about $20), you will save money over the long run because they will last years longer than their traditional equivalents.
4. Change out your HVAC filters
When was the last time you looked at your home’s air filter? The dirtier the filter, the harder your heater and/or air conditioner is working to pump air through your spaces. Matter of fact, the Department of Energy says that replacing a dirty air filter can reduce an air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 10%! Set your calendar to at least look at your filter twice a year (there is no recommended rule as to how many times you should change it in a year). If it looks dirty, replace it!
5. Reconsider Your Laundry Habits
Laundry is often a least-favorite chore, and it’s also an energy big-ticket item. Energy Star estimates that there are 76 million top-loading washers in the United States, with 25 million of them being over 10 years-old. Their collective lack of energy efficiency costs us all $2.9 billion in energy and water each year. What does that translate to your personal budget? Well, your top-loading older washer could be costing you an average of $210 a year in water and electricity.
Can’t afford to replace your current equipment? At least reconsider your habits: only run your machine when you have a full load to wash, use a cold wash with a detergent that can clean in the cold wash setting, and change over your loads right away to conserve dryer heat. And if you can, research state and federal rebates on purchasing a new appliance.
If you are a Massachusetts resident, this is one of the best money-saving energy tips we can give you: take advantage of Mass Save. You can get everything on this list (except for the cable box) for free through the MassSave program! By scheduling an in-home assessment, any Massachusetts resident will learn valuable information about their home and how energy efficient it is, and they will be given free tools to help them save money and do more. Free thermostat, free power strip, free lightbulbs for the entire house… the instant savings are incredible! And don’t forget that they offer significant rebates on energy-efficient appliances, including washers and dryers, refrigerators, and even converting your boiler/heater to natural gas heat! You can learn more about Mass Save here or you can go to their website to schedule an appointment today!
If you’re interested in drastically reducing your electric bill, consider installing solar panels. Click here to request a free quote and consultation.
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