No one said bad habits were easy to break, but when you could be save a significant amount of money on your electric bills, it’s a little easier to reverse them. We’re here to help bring some money back into your savings account with this quick little guide full of easy fixes.
Save some extra cash and break these bad energy habits.
1. Running incomplete loads in the dishwasher
Ever run a load of dishes in the dishwasher even though it wasn’t completely full? We’ve all been there. Not many of us know, however, how inefficient this habit is. You might think, “Well, dishwashers are less inefficient than hand washing to begin with, anyways”. On average, running a dishwasher “when fully loaded, use less electricity, water and detergent than even the most efficient hand-washers” according to this study. However, this only works when the dishwasher is completely full.
Want an extra tip when it comes to dish washing?
Avoid pre-rinsing your dishes as much as possible before loading them into the dish washer. Doing this wastes unnecessary water, about 10 gallons per load, that the dish washer should be using. Instead, trying removing food and grime with a rubber spatula or sponge.
2. Not turning your lights off
This bad habit you’re probably aware of but over the years you just didn’t care enough about it. However, this is one of the easiest fixes to save money on your electric bill! Leaving just a few light bulbs on for 5-9 hours everyday adds to approximately $30 added to your electric bill. And this is with two regular bulbs.
Want to save even more energy? (And money?)
Switch your bulbs to LED. On average, they use about “75% less energy than incandescent bulbs” and “last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent and about 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting” (Energy Star).
3. You have single-pane windows
Whether its the heat or the cold, replacing pre-existing single-pane windows with Energy Star certified windows help you feel comfortable and save energy simultaneously. Poorly insulated windows draw the heat away from inside your home, cooling down the temperature no matter what your thermostat is set to. This causes your heater to overcompensate as its constantly battling to keep your home warm.
Inversely, during the summer double-pane windows keep much more of the sun’s heat outside than single-pane windows would. Installing these windows not only reduces energy but reduce how much electricity is spent on maintaining a comfortable home temperature.
4. The thermostat is set to an inefficient temperature
With updated windows, it’ll be easier to maintain an efficient temperature with your thermostat. Programming your thermostat to more efficient temperatures (10 to 15 degrees in either direction) can save you about 5 to 15 percent a year on your bills. During the winter, keep it at 68°F, and during the summer keep it at 78°F.
Also, contrary to what you may have heard, shut off your AC and heating unit when you leave the house. Not home? Don’t use it.
5. “Ghost lights” aren’t shut off
You know those pesky little lights on all of your electronics? The ones that seem harmless and don’t make much trouble? Well, those lights aren’t being powered by thin air. They’re hooked up to electricity and are burning energy. While one light may not make a huge impact on your bill, all of them in your home combined add up. View a detailed list of how much energy your appliances burn on average here.
These are just 5 easy ways to kick your bad energy habits. They cost you in the long run and burn unnecessary energy, increasing your carbon footprint.
Explore other options for using energy more efficiently and saving money, like installing solar panels. This would break the biggest habit of all.