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Five Ways You’re Wasting Energy at Home

People typically use much more energy each day than they even realize — from charging electronics to watching tv and spending so much on utility bills. Luckily, most households can significantly lower this amount simply by being more proactive with energy conservation tips. Electricity is needed to live comfortably. However, there are simple ways you can reduce your energy use, save money, and improve your home’s sustainability without really impacting your lifestyle. It is in your best interest to learn the biggest energy-wasting oversights people make at home and how to adjust to more eco-friendly practices.

 Light Usage

All too often, people simply forget to turn off their lights or are not caring too much about leaving lights on when they are not in use. This is one of the most energy-wasting habits and is also one of the easiest habits to fix. By simply turning off the lights when leaving a room or the home in general, you should see a large drop in your electricity bill, and it will also help your light bulbs last longer. If you might need help remembering, consider using a smart home system to monitor your lighting all from your smartphone remotely.

Incandescent lights take up so much energy! An easy and quick way to reduce energy use is to switch to energy-efficient bulbs. There are energy efficient certified bulbs — such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last much longer.

 Leaving Electronics Plugged In

Some people don’t realize that appliances and electronics use energy even when they’re turned off. One way to save on utility bills is to unplug all electronics such as TVs, computers, and phone chargers when they aren’t in use. You can connect multiple electronics to a power strip to make it easier to switch off unused devices at one time.

 Freezer and Refrigerator Power

Some people like to have an extra freezer in the garage to store food, but that ends up doing more harm than good when it is empty. A running chest freezer consumes a large amount of energy and will cost you a significant amount more per month. When your chest freezer is empty, it is best to unplug it to save energy and money.

Believe it or not, those few seconds staring into the refrigerator add up and make a difference. It is estimated that people spend roughly 10 hours looking at an open fridge or freezer every year, which makes up 7% of the appliance’s total energy use. It is strongly advised only to open the fridge and freezer when necessary and save your browsing for the pantry.

 Water Usage

The majority of the washing machine’s energy is spent heating water. You can cut energy use in half just by switching from hot to warm water, or even more so by using cold water. Cold water is typically sufficient for cleaning clothing, towels, and sheets anyway.

Also, dishwashers require a significant amount of electricity to run. Consider running your dishwasher only when it is full to cut down on your energy usage. Switching the dishwasher’s setting from heat dry to air dry will also greatly impact the total energy used.

 Thermostat Usage

Most homeowners leave their water heater temperatures set too high. It is advised to leave it at 120 degrees for energy efficiency.

Also, heating and cooling your home takes up about half of the home’s energy. Use a programmable thermostat to help reduce unnecessary heating or cooling when you aren’t home. Smart thermostats are even more energy-efficient, as they can “learn” your preferred temperature and then default to energy-saving mode when no one is home.

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