6 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Use Before You Go Solar
Before you invest in renewable solar power for your home, adjust your daily habits by using these 6 free or low-cost options to reduce your energy consumption.
1. Turn off the lights
This option seems quite simple, but we're all guilty of leaving the bathroom light on when it is not in use. To take this one step further; when you enter the room, ask yourself if it's really necessary to turn the light on in the first place. Keep your window shades or curtains open and let that natural light in, baby!
2. Eliminate Phantom Loads
In the US, the total electricity consumed by idle electronics equals the annual output of twelve power plants! Phone chargers continue to draw a small electrical load in anticipation of you plugging in your device. Other devices like televisions, printers, and microwaves live in stand-by mode which also draw constant phantom loads.
3. Use Power Strips
Plug all of your devices that draw phantom loads into a power strip that has one power switch. This way you do not need to unplug each individual device from a socket. Flip the power strip off when the devices are not in use.
4. Make the switch to LED Bulbs
LED bulbs use 75% less energy, contain zero mercury, and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. For the minimal overhead cost, you can save big!
5. Install a Smart Thermostat
Use programming to schedule energy usage to cool/heat your home. Smart Thermostats allow you to control your home temperature even when you're not home. Turn your heat down overnight, the ideal temperature for the most restful sleep is between 60 and 65 degrees. These thermostat's will also alert you when your air filter needs to be changed. A clean air filter will increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.
6. Reduce your Water Heater Temperature
Simply use less hot water by taking quicker showers, reducing or eliminating baths, and turning off the faucet in between washing dishes, hands or teeth. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater, and insulate your water heater and the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes.