We’ve all been guilty of some of these behaviors at one point or another. Leaving the light on in a room that you’re no longer in, or setting the thermostat as high as possible to make sure the room temperature is just the way you like it. As harmless as we may think these everyday behaviors are, the reality is, they could be costing us extra money in the long-run. Believe it or not, the smallest adjustments to your daily routines could make a huge difference in the amount of money you save throughout the year. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to save money? Here are some ways to save water, gas and electricity while at home.
- Be prepared. I can admit that I’ve been guilty of turning on the shower water, leaving the room to grab a towel or some shampoo; only to hear my cell phone ring or stop and watch a commercial for my favorite TV show. The next thing I know, 5 minutes have gone by and I’m in the middle of a phone conversation or engulfed in a good TV show… all while water is being wasted. To avoid this common mistake, make sure you have everything you need BEFORE turning on the water.
- Take shorter showers. I know you’ve got your routine: lather, rinse, lather, rinse, and repeat. But imagine the amount of water you could save each month, just by reducing your shower time by 3 minutes per day…that’s 1.5 hours per month and 1,095 hours per year! Want to preserve even more water? Consider taking a bath instead.
- Wash full loads of laundry and dishes. If you find that you absolutely need a certain article of clothing, but don’t have enough clothes for a full load, hand-wash that item in the sink or run the washer on the shortest cycle possible. Completely out of cups or spoons? Hand-wash those dishes in the sink and let them air dry.
- Un-plug appliances when they are not in use. I know it sounds unrealistic, ridiculous, and quite frankly like a terrible inconvenience, right? While you may not crawl behind your stove, refrigerator or washing machine to un-plug after each use and plug it back in before using it again, consider some of the appliances that are easier to access like a lamp, TV, toaster or microwave oven. You’d be surprised to know that even when not in use, those still draw power from their source.
- Keep your heat and A/C on an automatic setting. Find a comfortable temperature that you can keep your thermostat set on throughout the day. That way, once the room reaches that temperature, the heat or A/C automatically shut offs and your unit isn’t working unnecessary overtime. When you leave home, adjust the temperature setting by 10 degrees.
- Take advantage of mother-nature. During the summer, turn off lamps and lights, open your curtains and blinds and allow the sun to light up your home. During the springtime, open your screened-in windows & doors and take advantage of the nice breeze or let the rain cool off your home. Turn off the A/C and unplug those fans when temperatures are not extreme. When fall and winter roll around and the temperature outside drops, heat up the fireplace, plug in the space heater or your heating blanket when cuddling up on the couch to watch your favorite movie. Layer up in clothing and use extra blankets to keep warm while you sleep.
- Invest in energy saving light bulbs. Sure, they may cost a few cents or dollars more than your standard bulb, but what you will save in energy costs will pay off.