In-Home Energy Costs
Episode 7, September 8, 2015
This is episode 7 of the Go Green Report. The Go Green Report is here to help you take small steps towards living green. This episode is brought to you by Control-n-Roll, a household product that helps you save toilet paper and paper towels with every pull. To find out more, visit ControlnRoll.com
As summer winds to a close, many of us may be reeling from the soaring energy costs that were a result of the higher temperatures that summer brought. Some of the more stringent homeowners out there may have just left the AC set to “off” and suffered through the heat in order to avoid the heightened expenditures. However, the rest of us were instead left scrambling to find ways to cut expenses in other areas in order to compensate. As cooler months are close at hand, we all could use some help in keeping our heating bills from being as troublesome as our cooling bills were. Luckily, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
In any season, saving money on in-home energy costs begins with knowing how these costs accumulate. Energy costs can be derived from one of four different sources: Heating and Cooling, Lighting, Appliances and Electronics, and Water. Here are a few ways you can save on energy during the upcoming fall and winter months.
HEATING & COOLING
When it comes to heating and cooling—staying on top of the thermostat and other appliances is essential. Wasted heat or air can send energy bills soaring. Duke Energy suggests closing your exterior doors and windows tightly when the heat is on. Also, you can save even more by turning off kitchen and bath exhaust fans when they aren’t essential.
Open shades, blinds, and drapes to allow the sunlight in to help heat your home. Use the sun to your advantage in the winter to help heat up the house.
ThisOldHouse.com suggests “choking” the chimney by stuffing it with blankets or other material. Creating tight blockage in your chimney will help keep the hot air from the furnace from escaping.
Programmable thermostats are also a good way to regulate the temperature of your home as the outside temperature varies throughout the day.
Inside your home, lighting can have a huge effect on your overall energy bill. Ovoenergy.com recommends dimming, turning off, or removing lights near windows during daylight and instead allowing natural light to light those areas.
They also suggest using Energy Star lightbulbs that not only will last you longer, but use less energy (up to 80 per cent) to do the same job. It is also imperative to be sure and turn the light switch to the off position in any empty room or hallway. Getting your family to commit to this simple habit can save you loads of cash in the long run.
APPLIANCES & ELECTRONICS
Properly using electronics and appliances can also be a determining factor in how high your electric bill is during the winter and fall months. Energy.gov suggests Air drying dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
Ovoenergy.com says that boiling water in a covered pot will use less energy by causing the water to boil faster. Did you know that even when they’re turned off, appliances and electronic gadgets use up energy? Unplugging electronics such as blenders, toasters, coffee makers, computers, televisions, and lamps when they are not being used can help lower your overall energy consumption and cost.
Energy costs can also be reduced by proper use of water sources. We-energies.com suggests using cold water when washing clothes: rinse the load with cold water, and then switch to cold instead of warm or hot for the wash cycle. Not heating the water that you use to wash your clothes will help bring down your energy bill.
Taking shorter showers instead of baths is also essential for reducing energy costs. Low-flow shower heads aren’t very expensive, are easy to install, and will help you find additional energy savings.
In the kitchen, don’t run the dishwasher if there are only a few dirty dishes to wash; only wash full loads of dishes.
These and other alternatives can help ease the strain that many families feel during this season of soaring energy costs.
This episode was brought to you by Control-n-Roll, a household product that helps you save toilet paper and paper towels with every pull. Thanks for joining us on the go green report, helping you take small steps towards living green. and every small step makes a big difference.