Close Closet Doors
Leaving the closet doors open isn’t just a bad habit that makes your home look disheveled; it costs you more, too. By simply shutting closet doors after you get what you need, you’re decreasing the square footage of your home that is actively air conditioned. This is especially important to do for closets along the exterior walls of your home, as they act as extra insulation.
Skip Artificial Lighting
Make the most of the longer days of summer and use the natural lighting that comes with them instead of flicking on the light switch. Open all of the blinds upon rising and avoid turning on lights until after the sun goes down. Be sure to close the curtains or blinds before leaving for work to minimize cooling costs while you’re out. To continue saving after dark, switch all light bulbs in your home to a lower wattage. You can also use less energy by installing dimmers throughout the house to avoid using the lights on full power.
Turn Down the Water Heater
Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees, recommends the Department of Energy. While 120 degrees is plenty hot to take a steamy shower, most manufacturers set the thermostat to 140 degrees by default, which costs you much more to heat over time. Going on a trip? Turn it down to 80 degrees to save even more while you’re away.
The same goes for the water heater in your pool or spa. You can save 20 percent in energy costs just by turning the temperature down 10 degrees, according to HotTubWorks.com.
Plug into a Power Strip
Use power strips instead of standard outlets in high-powered areas of the home such as your office or media room. Get a surge-protected power strip with a switch ($9.97 at NewEgg.com) so you can easily switch off the power at the press of a button when your gadgets aren’t in use. Powered items like the TV, DVD player, printer and computer suck up energy when plugged in, even if they aren’t in use, so it pays to turn them off.
Replace Air Filters Regularly
Help your AC do a little less work this summer by replacing the air filters every other month. Not doing so causes your air conditioner to work harder and use more power to cool your home to the same temperature. Over time this causes premature wear and tear on your unit, reducing its lifespan and leading to costly repairs.
Get a Time-of-use Energy Plan
Many electricity providers offer time-of-use plans that offer lower energy rates for electricity consumed at off-peak times during the day and night. Contact your local providers to shop around for the best plan that suits your needs. In addition to saving money, this also helps lessen the load on the power grid.