After the February power outages that caused hundreds of deaths and skyrocketed electricity bills because of the inability of power plants to operate in the extreme cold, Texans wonder how they can prepare for the upcoming winter.
With these 8 tips from Bulb, a 100% renewable electricity provider, you can go green and make your home more energy-efficient, while cutting your energy bill and reducing carbon emissions without much effort.
Don’t be afraid to make changes and be prepared for this Fall and Winter season.
1. Daily curtain call
Drawing your blinds can bring significant cost savings by utilizing the sunshine to warm and light up your home.
So lower, or better yet, turn off your thermostat and let the sun do what it’s best at.
2. Scare Away The Vampires
Coffee makers and cell phone chargers are known as “energy vampires”, they make up about 10% of household energy use. These vampires aren’t only active at nighttime, they use power anytime they’re plugged in. A successful solution is pulling the plug once you’re done.
3. Get Clever With Your Cooking
Instead of lots of little meals a day, cook one large one. Think big stews, chilis, and yummy braised things. Cooking one big meal requires less energy and saves time washing multiple pots and pans.
4. Cool Down, Load Up
Before putting your food in the fridge you might want to let it cool off, hot food makes your fridge work harder to stay at temperature. While we’re on the subject, the fuller your fridge and freezer, the less energy it uses because the food acts as a natural insulator. Also, try making sure your dishwasher is full before running a cycle. If it’s an option, choose to “air dry” instead of “heat dry.” Your dishwasher will use at least 15% less energy. Whoever is in charge of ‘dish duty’ should really keep this in mind.
5. Don’t Squander While You Launder
Water heating makes up to 90% of the total energy used in a hot water cycle, so wash your clothes in cold water. A plus side to this is that cold water makes your clothes last longer and generally look better, warm water breaks down fibers faster and can cause fading.
6. Dry Your Best
Dryers have a bad reputation for being energy hogs and you can easily spend over $100 a year just on drying your clothes. Try cleaning your lint screen after every load to save yourself an average of $34 per year, also don’t stuff or overload your dryer. You can also try air drying damp laundry on a drying rack by a window, letting the sunshine help to dry your clothes or towels.
7. Turn Your Thermostat Down A Degree
The biggest thing you can do to lower your energy usage is turn down the temperature on your dial by just a degree or two. Every extra degree of heating your home means an increase in usage of 6 to 8 percent more energy. Start saving money on your bill by lowering your energy usage and aligning your sustainability values.
8. Bye-bye Air Leaks and Drafts
Caulking and weatherstripping is an inexpensive and cost-saving way to keep the heat inside and save some bucks on your energy bill.
Cold air can sneak into your home in ways you might not expect, such as through gaps in your insulation, electrical outlets, light fixtures, and ceiling light sockets. Also check external doors, windows, and your attic for drafts or damaged seals.
For more tips on energy conservation visit Bulb.com or the company blog here.