Did you know that renewable energy sources are up 15.7% compared to last year? That means that people are moving away from using energy sources that cause harm to the environment.
You don’t have to “go green” all the way to save money on your energy bill. Using renewable energy sources will lower your overall cost, but there are other things you can do to help reduce it as well.
Let’s take a look at some simple things you can do to reduce costs and make your energy efficient.
Taking Control of Your Appliances
Cutting costs can happen by taking back control of your appliances. Instead of using all of the pre-set, automatic features your appliances have to offer, let’s learn how you can manipulate them to help out with your energy bill.
Washers and Dryers
Revising how you do your laundry can be an easy way to cut costs on your energy bill. Are you an all or nothing type of person? Having this attitude about how much you stuff into your washer or dryer may not be the best if you’re looking to save money.
There’s a happy medium of how much you should try to stuff into a dryer. Not enough and you’re wasting money, but too much and you may have to run it again.
The hot air can only dry so much and if it’s stuffed to the top, you’re not reaching every article of clothing. Having enough room for airflow in your dryer will make clothes dry faster and prevent you from having to run more than one cycle.
If you’re washing and dryer a large load of blankets or sheets, unless you have an industrial size washer, it may be more cost effective to bring them to a laundromat. Consumer sized washer and dryers are not meant for large items such as bedding or quilts.
If you’re already packing your washer and dryer the right amount, there’s more you can do to reduce the cost associated with your laundry.
Did you know that 90% of the energy your washing machine uses is due to heating the water in the drum? What an easy way to save on your energy bill! Using cold water will not only protect the length of the life of your clothes but will reduce cost.
When you wash your clothes in cold water, you don’t have to separate the whites from the darks. This means your clothes will stay in good shape and won’t get ruined.
Keeping your costs low on your washer and dryer can help with your overall energy bill, but there’s more you can do. Let’s take a look at how you can optimize the efficiency of your air conditioner and home heating.
Your Air Conditioner Can Save On Your Energy Bill
If you live in a place with a cold or hot climate, your cooling and heating energy bill could be high. Living in Wisconsin in the middle of a Polar Vortex, for instance, may cause you to turn up the heat higher than you have before.
Making sure your heating and air conditioning is functioning as economical as possible will help you save money. The first thing you’ll want to check is your vents.
If you have a closed vent, it’s not going to cause the air conditioner to run into overdrive. Checking the vents is not something most people do because they assume they are open.
If something has been placed in front it, it may have accidentally shut it. Making sure they are open will help your air conditioner or heating to run throughout the house whole, providing an even temperature.
Have you ever opened your vents? They actually need to be cleaned! Air filters are stored within them and should be replaced on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to help with airflow.
Washing Your Dishes
Your dishes are much like your washer and dryer when it comes to reducing your energy bill. Heating is the main culprit of raising your energy prices. Reducing the usage of this heat to a minimum will help keep your cost low.
Dishwashers, like your washing machine, require heat in order to ensure your dishes get clean. The heating of the water makes it easier to get food off and clean stains off of your dishes.
Dishwashers often have a built-in heated drying process that you can turn off if you so choose. Most people just leave the default settings when doing their dishes, but turning off the heat when drying can help reduce your energy bill.
Using a rising agent will help to remove spots from your dishes if you run it without heated dry and you notice spotting. A good rinsing agent will prevent and remove any water spots before the drying cycle occurs.
If you’re looking for an even bigger cut on your energy bill, you can stop your washer before it reaches the dry cycle and let your dishes dry on their own.
Loading the Dishwasher
Did you know that there is actually a wrong and right way to load your dishwasher?
Loading it the wrong way can cause it to run inefficiently. As we know, inefficiency leads to higher energy bills.
Pre-washing your dishes in the sink is a great practice before putting them in the washer. Pre-wash them too much, however, and you forego the need of having a dishwasher. Removing large chunks of food is all you really need to do as the dishwasher does the rest.
Running your water while washing dishes adds to another cost, so you need to find a balance of how “clean” the dishes should be before placing them in the dishwasher. Scrubbing them to get stuff off is replacing your dishwasher’s job.
Location of Plates and Bowls
How you load the dishwasher also matters if you want it to be efficient. Couples have had this argument since the birth of the dishwasher, but when you’re analyzing your energy bill, you’ll see a difference if you’re doing it right.
Utensils should go in the designated utensil tray on the bottom rack. All things placed in the utensil rack should go handle down. Even knives! That means take extra care when you’re loading and unloading the silverware.
Having the tops exposed allows more water to reach them to provide proper cleaning.
Plates should go on the large slots in the bottom of the dishwasher, all facing the same way to maximize space.
Your bowls and cups, if possible, should be placed on the top of the dishwasher. Cups should be facing downwards so the water stream can reach them to clean them out. The same applies to bowls. They should be placed at a slight angle so the water can reach inside.
Tupperware or Plastic
Anything that is made out of plastic should be placed on the top shelf. Tupperware and lids are best on the top. The heat from the water can cause them to warp or deform if placed on the bottom.
Protecting your Tupperware and plastic objects will help you save money because you won’t have to run out and replace them.
Saving Money With Other Appliances
What other appliances in your house have energy costs associated with them? What can you do to reduce your energy bill even more? Besides the ones already mentioned, other appliances don’t have a very high running cost.
However, it’s important to watch your usage and make sure you’re taking measures to reduce energy cost by being aware of what’s turned on.
The most commonly used items that fall next on the usage chart include plasma TVs, desktop computers, video gaming systems and electric tea kettles.
The best solution? Shutting your devices off when you leave for the day or won’t be using them for an extended period of time. Shut down your computer when you’re done with it instead of putting it to sleep. Turn off your Xbox at night and unplug your kettle.
If you find it annoying to shut down, unplug or turn off appliances like these, one by one, you can always get a power strip. Plug more than one thing into the strip and then you can turn the strip off instead of having to unplug each appliance.
Reducing Your Energy Cost and Consumption
We’ve touched on a few ways you can help cut the costs of your energy bill. This reduction of energy consumption will not only help you with cost but help the environment in the long run. If people were willing to turn to renewable energy sources, solar panels, for example, it would help the environment.
You don’t have to start implementing all of these cost savings at once, but one at a time will help you get in the good habit. One step at a time you can move towards helping yourself, and helping the environment.
To learn more about how you can save money in other areas or your life, visit our website for more articles.