6 Free or Nearly Free Ways to Save Energy in Your Home
If you’re like most people, you probably spend too much on your monthly energy bills –in some cases literally throwing money out the window because of inefficiencies in your home.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, there are many ways to save money on your monthly bills – some of which are free, and others that are small investments that will bring longer-term gains.
Here are 6 free or nearly free ways you can save money and improve home comfort performance in your home:
Close unused air vents. If you have central AC, close air vents in rooms you’re not using. Why pay to cool rooms you’re not enjoying?
Lower the temperature on your water heater. Water heater thermostats usually default to a setting of around 140 degrees when 120 will do. Lowering hot water temps is good for your carbon footprint, too: each 10-degree reduction prevents 600 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere per year for an electric water heater (440 pounds for a gas heater).
Use a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans work great – especially with air conditioning! A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about four degrees with no reduction in comfort, at a far lower cost to operate than running your AC.
Wash and dry clothes economically. Only wash clothes when you’ve collected a full load. Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold setting, not hot – with modern washing machines, there is no need to waste the energy to add 20 degrees to your wash water.
Turn your refrigerator down. Refrigerators account for about 20 percent of the electricity used in your home. Set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible. Also: check refrigerator and freezer door gasket to make sure they are sealed tightly.
Maintain your home heating system. A yearly burner tune-up keeps your equipment running at its best and helps you avoid expensive problems by spotting their warning signs early.