Five Common Energy Wasting Mistakes You May Be Making

Most of us use a lot of energy around our homes every single day without even paying that much attention to it. Some things just come naturally these days and require very little thought, like switching a light on in a room, charging electronic gadgets, or switching on the TV. According to the Department of Energy, the average U.S. household spends around $2,200 per year on energy bills alone. 
But whether you’re hoping to reduce your carbon footprint, the figures on your energy bills, or both, the good news is that there are steps that you can take in order to reduce your energy usage overall. And, what’s better is that proactive energy conservation doesn’t mean sitting in the dark and giving up your laptop. There are many steps that you can take to save energy that will barely make a difference to your everyday consumption habits or experiences. But first of all, it’s important to know where all that energy is being wasted. Here are some of the biggest energy-wasting habits that people have today, and what you can do about them.
Five Energy Wasting Mistakes You May Be Making

#1. Leaving Lights On:

Leaving the lights on around the home is one of the most obvious energy-wasting habits, but the good news is that it’s also one of the most easily fixable. Simply making a habit of turning off the light whenever you leave a room or your home can help you significantly reduce your energy usage and you’ll keep your light bulbs lasting for as long as possible, too. If you think that you might forget, it may be worth investing in a smart home monitoring system that will switch the lights off automatically after the room has been empty for a while, or putting your lights on a timer that’s set to switch off at certain times, for example when you leave for work in the morning or when you’re going to bed at night.
In addition, if you’re using incandescent light bulbs, then you may also be using up more energy than you realize. Simply making the switch over to energy-saving lightbulbs can make a massive difference to the amount that you spend on energy, without compromising on the light quality in your home. Energy Star certified light bulbs use on average 25-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times as long, saving households an average of $75 each year.

#2. Skipping Maintenance:

There are many systems and appliances around your home that could be using more energy than you realize simply because they’ve not been maintained in a while. For example, a heating system that needs cleaning or needs some minor repairs done to it may still work fine but is actually using more energy than it should. Check out Semper Solaris for heating and air conditioning repair; even minor issues with your HVAC systems can drain energy from your home. Regular HVAC maintenance is also essential; get a professional from a company like Semper Solaris to look over your HVAC systems at least once per year, or as many times as the manufacturer recommends. And finally, if your home’s heating and cooling systems are getting old, they may be using a lot more energy compared to a newer model. Check out the best heating and cooling units for energy efficiency and consider upgrading to them in your home.

#3. Leaving Electronics Plugged In:

Many appliances and electronics will continue to use energy even when they are not in use if they are still plugged into the mains. While appliances such as your fridge and freezer may need to be plugged in all the time to keep the food inside fresh, there are several other electronics and items around your home that don’t need this constant source of power. For example, you may think that you have switched your TV off, but it’s actually in standby, with a small trickle of power supplied to it waiting for you to switch it back on again with the remote – without this power supply, your remote wouldn’t work. Unplugging all electronics when they are not in use can make a difference to your overall energy use, but if you don’t have the time to go around plugging and unplugging your electronics every day, it might be worth investing in a smart power strip, which will cut the supply off when the electronic is not being used.

#4. Water Waste:

There are several different ways that your household could be wasting water without even realizing it. One of the biggest culprits is running the dishwasher when it’s only half full – while you might just want to get your dirty dishes out of the way, running your dishwasher daily when it’s not completely full can add up to around $66 yearly. You can cut this cost down by only running the dishwasher when it’s completely full; if you need some clean dishes beforehand, it’s cheaper to just wash the ones that you need in the sink. And if you don’t like dishes piling up on the side, then load the dishwasher bit by bit – but don’t turn it on every time you put new dishes in unless there’s no room left for anymore.
Another way in which you could be wasting water without realizing it when showering. In fact, did you know that showering for a mere two minutes less will save a massive ten gallons of water? Everybody enjoys a long, hot shower, but doing so could be one of the main ways you’re wasting energy on hot water in your home. If you don’t want to give up your shower time, you might want to consider investing in an energy-efficient shower head that will use less water without compromising on water pressure.
Finally, washing your clothes in hot water is unnecessary and can lead to energy waste. Around 90% of the energy spent by your washing machine is spent heating water, which doesn’t really make sense as most loads will be fine washed in cool or warm water. Unless you really need to do a boil wash, such as if you’re trying to remove oil or grease, stick to low temperatures – it’s often better for your clothes and it costs much less.

#5. Getting the Thermostat Temperature Wrong:

In many households, water temperatures are set far too high and nobody even realizes. This is because the majority of water heaters are set at 140 degrees by default, and most people don’t even think about changing this. But, the Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat at 120 degrees for optimum energy efficiency, so it’s worth bringing it down a touch – and chances are you won’t even notice the difference. And for every 10 degrees you lower the thermostat, you can cut your energy bills by 3-5%.
Another mistake that you might be making when it comes to your thermostat is not programming it. Since heating and cooling consumes almost half of a home’s total energy, programming your thermostat means that you can cut down on unnecessarily heating and cooling the home when you’re not there. Or, you might want to invest in a smart home system which allows you to control the heating and cooling from your smartphone, even when you’re not at home.
Have YOU been making any of these energy-wasting mistakes?


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