When it comes to reducing energy costs, being mindful of everyday home energy-wasting habits is critical. Heating and cooling costs are perhaps the biggest energy suckers. Keeping your home’s temperature comfortable while keeping utility bills reasonable isn’t always easy. If you have aging inefficient heating and cooling systems, it’s pretty much impossible. Fortunately, there are solutions available, such as the Gree mini split system, that can provide more efficient climate control than traditional models. With its DC inverter technology and quieter operation, a ductless mini split provides energy efficiency without compromising comfort levels. Here are some common ways homeowners waste electricity in their homes.
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1. Leaving Lights on When Not in Use
Make a conscious effort to switch off lights every time you leave a room. While this may seem inconvenient, this small oversight can add significant energy costs over time. You can also replace existing light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs, which use 75% less energy than traditional light bulbs.
2. Overusing Air Conditioning Units or Heaters
Setting thermostats higher in the summer and lower in the winter could help save money on your energy bill. Setting the temperature at 78 in summer and 65 in winter is recommended. But this may not work for everyone. If you want more comfortable temperatures and still need to keep the bills in check, consider highly efficient models, such as multi-zone mini splits. In some cases, opting for a single zone mini split might be appropriate. This is especially true for small homes or if you add or convert a garage.
3. Improperly Insulated Homes
Poor insulation often leads to wasted electricity, significantly increasing heating and cooling costs. Ensure your windows and doors are properly sealed with weather stripping or caulking to prevent any warm or cool air from escaping. Additionally, having thick curtains fitted on all windows helps keep unwanted heat out during summer months while keeping cold air outside during wintertime.
4. Plugging Devices into Extension Cords
Extension cords are convenient tools for powering multiple devices. Still, they should only be used temporarily, as plugging several gadgets into one extension cord can overload circuits and lead to significant electricity wastage. Keep electronics plugged directly into outlets when possible, instead of using extension cords.
5. Not Replacing Air Filters Regularly
Dust, dirt, and other debris can easily clog up the air filter in your AC unit, reducing its efficiency and leading to higher energy costs. It also places extra stress on the system, leading to a shorter lifespan. Check and replace the air filter every three months to ensure optimal cooling at a low cost. Check them more often if you have pets or live in a dry or dusty environment.
6. Wasting Electricity on Inactive Devices
Electronics like computers, TVs, and printers may power down, but they still use some energy. As a result, leaving them plugged in for long periods can significantly add to the electric bill. To prevent this from happening, turn off and unplug all devices when they’re not in use.
7. Setting the Water Heater Too High
The thermostat on your water heater should ideally be set at 120 degrees to avoid wasting unnecessary energy. This will also prevent accidental scalding, which is especially important in homes with children. Do not set the temperature below 120 degrees because you risk bacterial growth in the water heater. However, if appliances such as dishwashers don’t have internal water heaters, set the water heater at 140 degrees.
8. Leaving Refrigerator Doors Open Longer Than Necessary
You might think this is harmless, but leaving your refrigerator door open too long can cause temperature fluctuations and increase energy consumption overall. Always ensure appliance doors are properly closed after taking out what you need; this small effort ensures maximum efficiency while reducing wasted electricity.
9. The Refrigerator Is Set at a Higher Temperature Than Needed
Refrigerators should be kept at 40°F. Any setting higher than this could lead to spoiled food. Setting it substantially lower than this will increase energy costs. Check your refrigerator’s temperature settings monthly because it can get bumped accidentally.
10. Running Appliances (Like Washers and Dishwashers) Before They Are Full
Operating such machines when they are not full will cost you more without any added benefit. When running a washing machine, fill it up with items instead of taking multiple cycles with just a few pieces of clothing each time.
11. Ignoring Air Leaks in Doors or Windows Around the House
Small holes or cracks can lead to a 10-20% loss in energy efficiency as air escapes from your home. Seal up any holes or gaps using weather-stripping material like caulk or foam tape. This will ensure maximum comfort levels year-round without overspending on electricity bills.
12. Not Replacing Old Devices With No Star Rating
Many old appliances and electronics may draw more energy than their updated counterparts. Consider replacing any inefficient technology around your home or office. You’ll often make up the cost in reduced energy bills. When looking for new devices, make sure to find Energy Star-certified products. These models allow you to enjoy significant savings without sacrificing performance quality.
Taking these simple steps can help reduce your monthly bills substantially without compromising comfort levels or safety. After all, who doesn’t want a cozy environment that’s inviting and kinder on the pocket? And when lower bills coincide with eco-friendly living habits, everyone wins.