Saving energy is more important than ever for anyone who wants to do their part to protect the environment. Numerous studies have shown that carbon dioxide is directly responsible for damaging the environment, which is the main reason why it’s essential to reduce your energy use. Keep in mind that electricity remains the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions. If you want to take steps to protect the environment, there are several ways that you can save energy throughout your home.
It’s important to understand that saving energy will also save you money. Because energy-efficient products and appliances use less energy than their inefficient counterparts, you should save a substantial sum of money on your monthly energy bill. The average cost of electricity across the U.S. is just over 13 cents per kilowatt-hour. Many energy companies across the world have started to focus more on renewables as opposed to electricity. In 2020 alone, there has been a five-percent reduction in global electricity demand.
You should consider investing in energy-conserving products if you want to help the environment and save money. Aside from the initial investments in upgrading your home systems and appliances, the energy savings will help you significantly reduce the amount of money you spend each year on electricity, which should eventually make up for the initial expenses. On average, homeowners in the U.S. spend around $2,000 in utilities every year, half of which is typically spent on electricity. This article offers an in-depth guide on the top energy-saving products that you can install in your home.
1. Power Strips
Power strips are a great way to hook up multiple devices and electronics to just one outlet, which is convenient and saves you the hassle of deciding which devices to have plugged in at a given time. The issue with standard power strips is that they will consume energy even when devices aren’t turned on. As long as you have devices plugged in, some energy will be sent to them. If the power strips in your home are inefficient, you’ll have a higher energy bill each month, which will cause you to spend far more money on electricity every year.
Smart power strips are able to avoid consuming more energy than is needed by using a “standby mode”. When none of the devices that are plugged into the power strip are turned on, the power strip will automatically go into standby mode, at which point no energy will be consumed. Your energy savings can amount to 5-10 percent of your monthly energy bill when you decide to use smart power strips. One well-rated smart power strip is the Bits Limited Surge Protector, which contains 10 outlets and uses a standby mode.
2. Smart Thermostats
If you want to substantially reduce the amount of energy you waste with your HVAC unit, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a smart thermostat for your home. Keep in mind that HVAC units typically account for 50 percent of a home’s energy use in a given year, which is why it’s important that you do what you can to ensure that the unit operates more efficiently. Smart thermostats from Ecobee, Nest, or Honeywell can reduce your energy costs by providing your home with a form of climate control.
This type of device is designed to learn about the energy needs that your family has, after which it will alter the temperature accordingly. By only turning the HVAC system on when necessary, you can save nearly $200 in yearly energy costs. You can also opt for a programmable thermostat if you want to control the temperature settings with your thermostat. While there are many online and brick-and-mortar stores that offer smart thermostats, likely the most convenient option is Home Depot, which is known to carry most of the popular thermostat brands. In fact, the Nest Thermostat E is available at most Home Depot stores.
3. Energy Saving Light Bulbs
Likely the easiest way to reduce the amount of energy you use each month is by switching to energy-saving light bulbs. The most energy-efficient light bulbs include halogen bulbs, light-emitting diodes, and compact fluorescent lamps. If you want the most energy-efficient option, LED bulbs will save you more energy than the alternatives. To understand just how much energy you can save by making this change, some statistics about these bulbs include:
- CFL bulbs are able to last around six times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- LED bulbs last around 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Energy-efficient bulbs use around 25-80 percent less energy when compared to incandescent bulbs.
- Even though incandescent bulbs request a large amount of energy, they only end up using around 10 percent of this energy.
The one downside to purchasing energy-efficient bulbs is that the upfront costs are higher than the costs for incandescent bulbs. However, your monthly energy savings will quickly make up for the upfront costs. All three bulb types mentioned here can be found at Amazon and Home Depot.
4. Window Insulators
Another energy-saving product that you might want to look into is a window insulator, which is relatively inexpensive but can provide you with numerous benefits. While modern windows are equipped with the components needed to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, older windows aren’t nearly as energy-efficient. While you can always replace and upgrade your windows, doing so can be costly.
If you want to keep costs down, window insulators may be the perfect solution for you. A standard window insulator kit provides you with an insulator film that can cover at least five windows. Once the insulator film has been placed on the window, you can be confident that the window will be better equipped to keep cold air out and warm air in. Along with reducing energy costs, this kit also prevents frost accumulation and reduces condensation. Well-rated window insulator kits are easy to find on Amazon.
5. Laundry Machines
If you want to make even more changes with your home appliances, consider replacing your current laundry machine with a more energy-efficient one. Energy-efficient laundry machines are ones that are outfitted with an Energy Star sticker, which designates that the machine has reached a certain efficiency that can’t be found with laundry machines that don’t include this designation. When you purchase a laundry machine with an Energy Star, your monthly energy costs should decrease by as much as 25 percent in comparison to traditional laundry machines.
Another notable benefit of purchasing an efficient machine is that you’ll also reduce your home’s water consumption, which is good for the environment and should reduce your monthly water bill. Keep in mind that there are many different types of laundry machines, all of which can be outfitted with different feature sets. For instance, some machines include smart functionality that will automatically choose the best wash motions and settings.
You can find laundry machines with the Energy Star label by navigating to this link. From here, click on the “Product Finder” to explore energy-efficient models. Another great place to shop for energy-efficient laundry machines is Home Depot. Keep in mind that Home Depot is able to provide home installation for most of its products.
Energy Saving Apps
If you want to start saving energy whenever possible, there are a range of highly reputable and feature-intensive apps that can tell you how best to save energy in your everyday life. Keep in mind that different apps provide different features and functionality. Nearly all apps available to you will give you suggestions on how to reduce your energy bills when you’re traveling, running errands or at home.
One app that you can download to your phone is the EDF Energy Mobile app, which allows you to easily view your energy bills, make payments, and check your current account balance. This app is available on the iOS and Android stores. Another fun and useful app for you to download is JouleBug, which will help you form green habits and provide you with rewards whenever you reach specific goals. You can even share the achievements you earn on Facebook.
If you’re currently using an Apple iPhone, you should consider downloading the Energy Cost Calculator, which is a powerful app that tells you how much energy your home appliances use over a set period of time. This app can display energy use data by week, month, or year. In the event that your home is equipped with smart devices and home automation, the HeatSmart app may be useful to you. This app allows you to change your thermostat with your voice or on your phone. Keep in mind that you’ll need to buy a smart thermostat to use this app.
Saving energy is an integral aspect of protecting the environment. If you’re an environmentally conscious homeowner, there are many changes that you can make to reduce your energy use for good. If you don’t want to spend too much money at first, window insulator kits and energy-efficient light bulbs are very affordable. The more notable changes that you can make to your home involve purchasing an energy-efficient laundry machine or upgrading your HVAC machine. Once you’ve upgraded your home with more energy-efficient appliances and devices, you should immediately notice a reduction in your monthly energy bills.