Paying for electricity is a necessary evil. You need power to keep your fridge cold, watch TV, and access the internet in your home. Though you can’t really live without electricity in 21st-century America, you can minimize your usage and costs.
7 ways to prevent electricity wastage
1. Unplug your devices when they’re not in use
Devices with screens require a lot of energy. Computers, in particular, are one of the top household energy users. Your computer might be in sleep mode when you’re not using it, but it’s still drawing power.
Cut down on energy wastage by turning your devices off and unplugging them when you’re not actively using them. Even if you plan to come back to the device, turning it off until you’re ready to work will help you save energy.
When you’re using a device with a battery, such as a laptop or a tablet, don’t keep it plugged in all the time. Doing so is bad for your battery and an unnecessary use of power. Instead, only charge your devices as long as they need to reach 100%.
Don’t forget about your TV, especially if it has a remote. Your TV knows to turn on when you use the remote because it uses a constant stream of power to remain connected to it, even when the TV is off. Unplug your TV and any connected devices, such as OTT boxes and gaming systems, to prevent electricity wastage.
2. Be smart about lighting
Though it’s one of the easiest ways to save on power costs, turning off lights that you don’t need is still an effective strategy.
Every time you leave an empty room, turn off the lights. Try to keep lighting at a minimum, whether that means using a lamp rather than overhead lights or opening the curtains to let the sunlight in.
Most importantly, choose light bulbs that use energy efficiently. LED light bulbs, for example, use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. You can replace all of the light bulbs throughout your home to drastically reduce your energy consumption.
Plus, these light bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than less efficient bulbs, creating additional savings in the long run.
3. Use energy-efficient appliances
The appliances in your home make up about 13% of your total energy consumption. Older or broken appliances use even more electricity than that.
Start by evaluating the appliances in your home. Research the typical power consumption for each device to measure its energy efficiency. During your evaluation, you can inspect your machines for any maintenance needs as well. Look for problems that decrease performance and use an excessive amount of energy.
Replacing any inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR certified machines will lower your total household energy consumption. The government guarantees that appliances with this label will use less electricity than other models. Refrigerators use 9% less energy, for instance, while clothes washers require 25% less power and 45% less water.
4. Weatherize your home
Your home, like all buildings, has several air leaks. These leaks are typically found around doors, windows, and vents.
When you run your air conditioner or heater, some of this temperature-controlled air leaks out of your home. At the same time, the hot or cold air from outside can leak into your home. Your HVAC system has to work harder to cool and heat your home, requiring more energy.
Weatherizing your home means sealing all of these cracks and leaks. You can caulk around door and window frames to seal any cracks. Apply weather stripping to your doors and windows to further repair any leaks.
For more extensive weatherizing, you can repair leaks in the attic, light fixtures, plumbing, electrical wiring, and more.
Your home will require less energy to heat and cool, saving electricity and money.
5. Optimize your HVAC use
You want your home to be comfortable, which usually means setting the thermostat at your preferred temperature. Unfortunately, your HVAC system is one of the biggest energy users in your home. The colder or warmer you want your house to be, the more energy you need.
Prevent wasted energy by using a programmable thermostat. Set less comfortable temperatures while the house is empty so you don’t run your HVAC system unnecessarily. Keep your home’s temperatures one or two degrees above/below your preferred temperature to save even more energy. You will only feel a slight difference, but you’ll see a big difference in your energy usage.
Additionally, you can schedule your thermostat around the sun’s natural heat. Let the sun warm your home during the day in the winter months. Allow the lower nightly temperatures to keep your home cooler during the summer. You can also keep blinds closed and curtains drawn to block out the heat when temperatures are high.
6. Install solar panels
Solar panels won’t reduce your energy usage by themselves, but you can use renewable energy sources to cut down on overall energy waste.
In Texas, you can install solar panels to reduce your reliance on the energy grid. You can take advantage of Texas’ sunny days to power your home. This alternative energy source is a great way to limit your effect on the environment.
Plus, a solar panel system can offer significant savings.
Though you will have to invest a sizeable amount upfront, these devices reduce your energy costs in several ways. You can receive a federal tax credit, find numerous rebate options, and join programs offered by local utility companies. You’ll pay less and feel better doing it.
7. Adjust your habits
The best way to reduce your energy waste is to be aware of your usage. Learn to make small changes that can add up to major savings.
For example, take colder showers to reduce your water heater’s power consumption. Use the microwave instead of the oven. Turn on a fan before lowering the thermostat.
Building greener habits can help you lower your electricity use and prevent unnecessary energy waste.