January 10 is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. There are many reasons to try and reduce your energy usage, with lowering your energy bill and being more environmentally conscious being at the top of the list. So here are the Top 10 ways to reduce your energy usage. The goal is to be responsible while also still being comfortable. The more of these you do, the greater the dent you’ll make in your energy usage.
1. Monitor your thermostat. The temperature you keep your home will have the biggest impact on your energy usage. According to the Energy Department, every degree you go up in winter increases your usage by about 1%. If you’ll be asleep or out of your house for more than eight hours, lower your thermostat.
2. Better yet, consider getting a Smart Thermostat. Smart Thermostats adjust temperatures based on your habits automatically. They’re a bit of an investment up front, but long term, the expense will more than pay for itself in energy savings.
3. Use LED lights whenever possible. According to the Energy Department, residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Again, the investment you make now will more than pay off over the long term.
4. Adjust your blinds/curtains. In winter, keep your south-facing curtains/blinds open during the day to let the sun heat your home naturally. Be sure to close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. In summer, keep the curtains closed to ensure the sun’s heat doesn’t make your home even warmer.
5. Check your air vents regularly. The air in your home should be distributed effectively. If something is obstructing the vents, it can make the system work harder, thus using more energy. Air filters should be replaced regularly.
6. Keep air from escaping. Weather strip around your doors and windows to prevent heat or cool air from escaping. Air lost around small cracks and holes can really add up . While you’re at it, if you have a fireplace, be sure to the damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use. Forgetting to close the damper after burning a fire is like keeping a window wide open during the winter.
7. Get into Vacation Mode. If you plan to be gone for several days, consider adjusting the temperature on your water heater. Most newer models have a vacation mode that will keep your water just hot enough to keep your pipes from freezing. (Just remember to switch it back upon your return.)
BONUS TIP: Since Pennsylvania is what’s known as an electricity choice state, you can choose who provides your energy. You don’t have to get it from your utility. And many of those companies, including NRG, offer fixed price electricity plans for potentially several years. This means your electricity price won’t go up even if energy prices do. This can protect you from what can be volatile fluctuations in price.
Learn more energy saving tips by visiting picknrg.com.