If celebrating Earth Day inspired you to make your home more eco-friendly then you're not alone! With a growing emphasis on sustainability, energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important and the push to go green is a win-win for your household and the environment. Fortunately, reducing your energy usage isn’t as difficult (or expensive) as you may think. By unplugging electronics, turning off or dimming lights and recycling, you can make a big difference in your daily energy consumption, help reduce pollution and even save some green by going green!
As warmer weather quickly approaches, now is the perfect time to reduce your family's energy usage. Here are some easy things you can do to reduce your energy bills and consumption this season:
Save energy the smart wayWhile it's a good habit to remember to turn off lights and appliances when their not in use, we all forget sometimes. The good news is you have several options to help you save energy (and money) around the house. Automated light products from Jasco make it easy to ensure that lights are off when no one is in the room or electronics are shut off when not in use. Doing this helps you save on electricity and contributes to a healthier planet!
Z-Wave Smart Controls offer an easy-to-install and affordable way to control and automate your lights and appliances from anywhere using your phone or tablet. Whether you're in another room or another country, you never have to worry if you accidentally left the lights on because you can turn them off remotely or program multiple lights to go on/off at specific times with the touch of a button. For the average household, stand by power alone can add up $100-$200 per year in energy costs. Install a Smart Outlet to power off your entertainment center and eliminate vampire power from your electronics (we'll talk more about fighting energy vampires later).
Bluetooth Smart Controls are the best energy-saving option if you don't need remote access but would still like to control and automate lights from your smart phone. Using Bluetooth capabilities already built into your phone or tablet, you can easily control, dim and program custom schedules for lights (and other devices) all without a hub or gateway. With GE Bluetooth Smart Controls you can also set timers and countdowns for indoor and outdoor lights and appliances that will work as programmed regardless of whether your phone is off or out of range.
MyTouchSmart Timers are another simple and low cost solution for automating lights and reducing energy consumption. Great for indoors or out, the plug-in and in-wall digital timers offer an incredibly easy setup with custom 'My On/Off' buttons, three preset times and the 24-hour countdown option. Not only do timers help reduce your energy bills by automatically turning lights and other devices off at specific times of the day, but they also help extend bulb life by giving you the option to control when your lights go on and when they go off.
Dimmers allow you to adjust the brightness level from zero to 100 percent to cut energy costs and set the perfect light level for early mornings, romantic dinners, or family movie nights. Dimming an incandescent or halogen can help you save 25 to 40 percent in electricity. The more you dim, the more you save!
Make the move to LED
Transitioning to LED light bulbs will save you a ton on your energy bill. LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. While LEDs may be more expensive up front, they save you more money in the long run and reduce your energy bill because they last a long time and have very low energy use.
"It's surprising how much electricity is used just to light your coffee or microwave timer."
Eliminate energy vampires with power strips
Not all homeowners realize plugged-in appliances that are turned off can suck up energy without being fully on. Items like coffee makers, DVD or Blu-ray players and other devices that you rarely use can waste energy without fully operating. These are energy vampires, and you'd be surprised how much electricity is used just to light your timer on your coffee or microwave. A great way to keep these devices from wasting energy is by using powers strips or surge protectors that can shut off power to these devices with an easy flick of a switch. Otherwise, you're letting energy be wasted on devices that you're not using.
Cut Your Cable
This one might seem a little extreme, but cable TV boxes use a surprising number of kilowatts just being plugged in and on standby. When a set-top cable box is turned off it’s still drawing significant power and boxes with DVR functionality draw even more power than those without it. That is why cord cutting is well worth considering as an energy efficient option to power hungry cable boxes, especially for households with multiple boxes in use. Instead, with a high definition antenna you'll obtain free local TV channels and enjoy the green benefits like the low cost, simple setup, energy efficiency and high performance of this cable alternative. If you're not sure where to start, check out our Cord Cutting 101 Guide and find out which antenna will work best for your home.
Control your temperature
Whether it's baking cookies, drying clothes in the dryer or washing dishes in the dishwasher, all of these appliances generate heat. Using these devices during summer days will make your home even hotter, which will force you to crank your AC higher, Forbes reported. Heat-generating appliances warm up your home and make daytime temperatures hotter, but using appliances at night could save you money when it's much cooler outside. In addition, Julia Scott, founder of the deal and bargain site called Bargain Babe, told Fox Business that by simply adjusting your thermostat throughout the day by a degree or two, you can save on energy costs. By managing your thermostat, you can slowly save money on reduced energy waste.
Use shades to block excess sunlight
While you may want to enjoy the sunlight, on warmer days it could be making the inside of your home extremely warm when you're not blocking the light. When you're not home, try to close your blinds so the heat doesn't enter through the window and put more pressure on your central air.
Sign up for a monthly blog recap: