(as posted in POPSUGAR Smart Living.)
Although the electricity bill probably isn’t one of your biggest expenses (compared to your rent or mortgage), it’s definitely an expenditure you can reduce. It doesn’t take that much effort to be more energy efficient, so why not learn to be more eco-friendly and shrink your electricity bill at the same time? Before you start implementing these minor changes, be aware of these things that can be causing your energy usage to skyrocket:
- Not cleaning out the lint. Make sure you always clean the lint filter after use so the dryer runs efficiently. Every six months, take the trap out and wash it with soap and water. While your clothes are drying, the lint in the trap hampers the flow of air in the heated dryer. This makes your dryer work harder and expend more energy than it needs to.
- Not buying a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a good investment because you’re able to save energy by programming the thermostat to control the heating and cooling when you’re away from home or asleep. There are programmable thermostats for about $35.
- Leaving electronics plugged in. It’s easy to be lazy and leave your electronics plugged in because you figure you’ll be using them soon. Electronic items still suck power even when they aren’t turned on. In fact, they draw five percent of the energy in American homes, according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The amount of energy wasted is equivalent to the output of 18 power stations!
- Having a dirty air conditioner. Clean or replace the filter in your air conditioner; a dirty one can take up five to 15 percent more electricity.
- Using inefficient light bulbs. Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs is an easy way to save the environment and money. Be sure to do your research before buying or asking help from a salesperson because energy-efficient bulbs can differ greatly in how much they will help you save.
- Not investing in a clothesline. Hang your clothes to dry whenever you can instead of throwing them in the dryer. This not only will help your clothes last longer, but it will also cut down usage of the dryer.
- Relying on central heating. Investing in a space heater will save you a lot of money on your heating bill. Just heat the room you’re using and not areas you’re not around. You can also consider buying an electric blanket to keep yourself even warmer.
- Washing clothes in hot water. Opt for the cold water setting when doing laundry to save money and energy. Ninety percent of the energy used in the washer is utilized to heat up the water, so by skipping the hot water, you’ll be saving a lot of energy.