As the national conversation surrounding energy continues to evolve, and extravagant solutions to environmental issues are proposed to our government, it can be easy to forget that taking responsibility for your own energy usage is the simplest way to make a difference. Cutting down on your energy usage is also a boon to your wallet, and you’ll notice the savings as soon as you see your reduced bill!
Keep your vents open and clean
It is a myth that closing vents will lower your energy usage. In reality, it seems obvious that keeping vents open will keep your house temperature comfortable, as a closed vent will block the air needed. According to lifehacker.com, opening vents and regularly cleaning and changing filters will help airflow in your house, making it easier for your unit to operate using less energy.
Use a cold wash
According to cleaninginstitute.org, approximately 90% of energy used by the average washing machine is used to heat water for washes. Many labels on clothes specify that they should be washed in cold water regardless, so you may improve the longevity of your clothing with a cold wash. Switching to a cold wash can improve both your clothing and your energy bill. While on the topic of laundry, try to save money and energy by only washing in full loads, and cutting down the number of times the machine is used.
Use a power strip
Any device left plugged in uses electricity, even when the device is not being used. Be sure to unplug cell phone and laptop chargers, lamps, electric toothbrushes, and everything and anything that does not need to stay plugged in. You’d be amazed at how much lower your energy bill can be! Televisions, video game consoles, and streaming devices all normally rest in the same area of a house and use similar power outlets. Leaving these devices on when not in use, even in “rest” mode, wastes energy. To minimize this waste, attach most or all devices to a single power strip, and unplug the strip whenever you’re done using your entertainment system. This keeps turning everything on and off simple, while also cutting energy consumption.