If you’re a homeowner or live in any type of housing complex, you know the feeling of receiving your utility bills each month and feeling your stomach drop at the numbers. Whether you want to lower your home expenses, be more environmentally conscious, or both, having knowledge of which systems of your home are consuming the most energy and how to reduce their consumption will be instrumental.
It’s tempting to turn the heating as far up as it can go when winter rolls around each year. However, this convenient household system is responsible for the largest percentage of the energy consumed by most houses. This is especially true for those who live in colder regions or who have particularly cold winters. Fortunately, it is easy to reduce the amount of energy used by your heater: Simply reduce the heat setting on your thermostat. Doing this might warrant donning a few more layers inside the home, but it is much easier to put on more layers or even use alternative sources of heat like a fireplace than it is to remove layers of clothing when the temperature gets swelteringly hot. Speaking of which, this brings us to a perfect segue into the next household appliance that is vacuuming the money from your wallet.
Unfortunately, one of the things we rely on the most to keep us cool during the warm months is also adding more and more digits to our electricity bills and consuming masses of energy. With 87 percent of U.S. households equipped with air conditioning systems as reported in 2009, it is easy to see why such a large portion of energy is spent on this luxury. The solution to minimizing this consumption, however, follows the same principle as the heating system: Adjust the thermostat. Opt for methods of cooling that don’t utilize electricity in any way, such as ice buckets, cold drinks, and staying closing the shutters to keep sunlight from warming up your home. Ideally, utilize a combination of both natural methods and a low setting on your air conditioning to reach a comfortable temperature without your electricity bills going through the roof.
There’s nothing better than the feeling of taking a hot shower after a long day. But sadly, yes, your water heater is responsible for a big portion of your home’s energy consumption. In fact, it takes up about 18 percent of your utility bill on average. To combat this, you can do things as simple as taking shorter showers and turning the temperature of your water down a little bit. But if you want to implement a longer-lasting solution consider installing an on-demand water heater. This way, you can control when your water heater is on or off, thus saving you money and conserving energy.