Learn how to save energy at home, at work, and more!
These days everyone is looking for easy ways to save money, and cutting down on your energy usage is the perfect way to start. Energy bills can add up fast, and often make up a large percentage of your home’s monthly expenses. So, it’s beneficial, both for your wallet and for the environment, to try to save energy whenever and wherever you can.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can minimize your carbon footprint and save energy in your home, at work, and everywhere in between in 2021.
How to save energy at home
Deciding that you want to be better about saving energy at home doesn’t mean that you have to go out and replace all of your appliances with energy-efficient ones. It simply means that you’ll need to make a few small changes to your lifestyle and daily habits when you’re at home. This includes getting into the habit of doing things like turning off appliances when you aren’t using them, using energy-sucking appliances less often (like your dryer or dishwasher), putting on an extra sweater instead of turning up the heat, and keeping your AC turned off unless there’s a heatwave and you really need it.
Making a conscious effort to create new energy-saving habits like these is a really easy way to save energy — and money — at home.
How to save energy in your kitchen
Try to only use hot water when you really need it. Everytime you turn the faucet to hot, energy is used to heat up the water. So, it will save you a whole lot of energy just by simply using cold water whenever you can.
Another important but easy-to-forget trick for saving energy is to check the seals on the doors of your refrigerator, freezer, and oven. An easy way to do this is by sliding a piece of paper between the door seal and the appliance. If the paper slides through easily, that’s a sign that heat or cold could be escaping — wasting precious energy and money in the process. If this happens to you, you’ll want to replace the seals on the doors as soon as possible.
How to save energy by using your refrigerator
There’s more to refrigerator usage than meets the eye, and when you’re thinking about energy efficiency, there are right and wrong ways to store your food. You can actually save energy by tightly covering the food that you store in the refrigerator. This is because, when left uncovered, foods release a lot of moisture that forces the compressor to work harder to keep the refrigerator at the right temperature. By simply putting food into airtight containers you can trap in moisture (which will make your food stay fresher longer!) and keep your refrigerator from having to use extra energy.
How to save energy when cooking
If you love using your oven, but don't love wasting energy, then this tip is for you. Simply turn off your oven a few minutes before your food is actually ready to come out and you’ll save yourself more energy than you’d think. And as long as you don’t open the oven door, the heat still in the oven will be enough to continue cooking the food without drastically impacting the temperature inside. And the good news is you can do the very same thing when cooking on the stove.
How to save energy with appliances
The appliances we use every day can have a big impact on our energy usage. Make sure that you only run the dishwasher when it’s completely full. That way you’ll use it less often, saving both energy and water. Just don’t overfill it, or some of your dishes might not come out quite as clean as you’d like.
How to save energy when doing the laundry
One easy way to save energy when doing your laundry is by washing your clothes in cold water whenever possible. Considering that 90 percent of the energy used to do laundry goes toward heating the water, washing your clothes on a cold cycle is the way to go. And with newer, energy-efficient washers and specially formulated detergents, cold water is just as good at cleaning your clothes without using the extra energy.
How to save energy in your bedroom
Saving energy in your bedroom can be as simple as keeping your closet doors closed. Having your closet doors open increases the size of your bedroom by more than you may realize, meaning that your AC or heated needs to work harder to reach that extra square footage.
You can also unplug your devices whenever you aren’t using them or are asleep. Your electronics and devices pull electricity even when they aren’t being used or are fully charged. Keeping these devices plugged in simply wastes energy and can really add up when your energy bill arrives.
How to save energy at work
There are a number of simple ways you can save energy at work:
- Only print when you need to — this will save energy and paper!
- Switch off and/or unplug appliances whenever you’re not using them.
- Use natural light coming in from windows when possible instead of switching on your desk lamp.
- Ask the building to install solar panels if they’re able to.
- Check for repairs on window and door seals to eliminate drafts and cut down on the need for heating.
- Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives.
- Turn the heater off over the weekend – you might be surprised to learn that most offices don’t do this!
How to save energy at school
There are a lot of simple ways that schools can save energy:
- Turn lights off in rooms that aren’t being used, or even replace lights with motion sensors so they turn on or off automatically.
- Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
- Install faucets that turn off after a certain amount of time to conserve water.
- Seal all exterior windows and doors to make them draught-proof.
- Close interior doors to keep classrooms at a constant temperature and turn off heating where possible over the weekends or any time rooms won’t be used for long periods.
How to save energy on heating
Installing a programmable or smart thermostat can help you to save energy on heating. This type of thermostat will automatically control your heating whenever you are out of the house or asleep. This will help you make sure that energy isn’t being wasted when you’re not looking.
It is also important to make sure that your home is properly insulated. A well-insulated home is more efficient at keeping heat out during warmer weather and keeping heat in during colder weather. Obviously, if you live in a region that has a warmer climate, your insulation may not need to be quite as extensive as it would need to be in a colder climate. The level of insulation also depends on the type of home you live in.
How to save energy when running your AC
If you live in a particularly warm climate, your air conditioner is probably a very important part of your home, in which case, you are probably wondering how you can save energy when running your air conditioner.
First, make sure your AC unit and thermostat aren’t too close to other appliances in your home, as they will give off heat while running and can essentially trick the AC system into thinking your home is warmer than it is, causing it to work harder.
You should also ensure that your air conditioning system is regularly cleaned and kept in good condition. This is particularly true for the filter and the duct system.
Make sure that you do not interfere too much with the thermostat. Setting it to a lower-than-desirable temperature will not cool your home any faster, it will simply take longer for the system to reach that temperature. Give it time — it will reach your ideal temperature eventually!
How to use an HVAC system to save energy
Upgrading your HVAC system can help you to save a lot of energy. ENERGY STAR-certified furnaces are much more energy efficient than older models, so having one will save you money on your heating bill. Though air conditioners don't contribute as much to energy bills as heaters, it’s still a good idea to upgrade this to a more energy-efficient system as well.
It is also important to make sure that your ventilation system is properly sealed and insulated, as a lot of energy can be lost through ducts if it’s not. Keeping the ventilation system in the best possible condition is important for maintaining maximum energy efficiency.
How to use the sun to save energy
Opening your blinds or drapes on sunny days during the winter will let warm sunlight in, making it so that you don’t have to turn your heater on quite as high. Just make sure you don’t change the thermostat up and down too often as this can end up using more energy.
You can also consider changing the layout of your rooms depending on the season, moving furniture to sunny spots during the winter, and cooler spots during warmer months.
How to save on energy bills
Working to reduce your energy use in your home is not only beneficial to the environment, but it will also help you to save on your energy bills. Even doing something as simple as turning off lights when you aren’t in a room or washing dishes by hand can save you a lot on your energy bills.
Conclusion: You can help save energy
As more and more people are becoming aware of their personal impact on the planet, saving energy has become something that many are striving to do — and do better. Sometimes though, no matter how much we try to save energy in our homes, it just doesn’t feel like enough. Which is why using clean energy is such a helpful option. When the energy you use to power your home has no environmental impact, you can use as much as you need without having to worry about increasing your carbon footprint. In fact, switching to clean energy can greatly reduce your carbon footprint without your having to make any of the changes mentioned above.
And with Inspire’s Unlimited 100% Clean Energy Subscription plans, you can do just that. If cutting back on energy simply isn’t working for you, you can switch to clean energy and use what you need — without harming the environment. To find out more about our unlimited clean energy plans, click here.