Ways to Save in Addition to Going Solar
Solar is certainly a huge step towards energy savings and green living. Perhaps you've already gone solar or maybe you're in the stage of saving up for your system. Regardless, there are several ways in addition to (or instead of, if solar isn't the right fit for you) solar that can save you money and save energy.
Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs
LED bulbs use 80-85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 50,000 hours (about 20 years!)
Changing air filters regularly
Filters should be replaced every 60-90 days. A clogged filter requires your HVAC system to work overtime, wasting energy.
Keep air vents open and clear
Closed vents also require your HVAC system to work harder in order to distribute air around your home.
Replace old appliances
Old appliances in general are not energy-efficient. For example, a new Energy Star label washing machine uses 25% less energy and up to 75% water than machines did 20 years ago.
Use a programmable thermostat
Programming your system to turn up or down 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you as much as 10% annually on utility bills.
Turn things off when not in use (lights, appliances, fans, electronics)
Electronics that remain plugged in, even while not in use, will use a small amount of energy.
Seal air leaks around windows
Keeping hot and cold air out of the home can save on your utility bills. Caulk and weather-stripping should be maintained regularly.
Use appliances wisely
Little tips along the way can really add up, too! Wait to run the dishwasher and washing machine until you have a full load. Cleaning the lint trap in your dryer ensures proper air flow and heating capacity.
Each of these may be a small contribution to your bottom line, but by implementing them all, these can save a substantial sum over the course of a year.