With the warm temperatures and high humidity levels we have in Sarasota, Florida, the monthly energy bills can be astronomical throughout the year. If you’re looking for ways to trim your bills, save energy, and live a more sustainable life, you can make some simple changes and see an immediate impact. Reduce energy waste and live sustainably with these helpful tips.
Leaving electronics plugged in or lights on can waste energy while you sleep. Before you turn in for the night, do a sweep of your home to look for anything that can be unplugged or turned off. Certain electronic devices use a small amount of power when they’re plugged in, even if they’re switched to the off position, so unplugging these can help reduce waste. Make sure to turn off all lights, appliances, and other items that aren’t in use.
One of the appliances in your home that uses the most energy is the dryer you use for your laundry. During the summer months, you can take advantage of the heat and sunshine by hanging your clothes to dry. This free alternative to using a dryer can help trim your bills. Another benefit is the reduced wear and tear on your clothing. A dryer can stretch out delicate fabrics or cause damage to the fibers, so hanging your clothes can also help your wardrobe last longer and look better.
If you’re in the habit of manually adjusting your thermostat whenever you feel uncomfortable in the home, now is the time to break that habit. Using a programmable or smart thermostat can help reduce energy waste substantially. Constantly adjusting the temperature on your thermostat requires your cooling system to cycle on and off more frequently, which puts more strain on the unit and can cause a premature breakdown. It also uses more energy to turn on and off than it would if you set a specific schedule and allowed the air conditioner to maintain the set temperature.
Programmable thermostats allow you to set a schedule for the day or week, making it easier to maintain a comfortable atmosphere when you’re home while allowing the system to take a break when you’re at work or away from home. Smart thermostats take these features a step further, allowing you to control the system from your mobile device and monitor usage to make automatic adjustments to reduce waste. You can also get a smart thermostat that monitors the outdoor temperature and makes updates based on changes.
Maintaining your electrical and HVAC systems is an important aspect of sustainability. When your HVAC system isn’t operating efficiently, it has to use more energy to heat or cool the air and move air throughout the house. Routine maintenance involves a full inspection of the system to make sure all components are working properly and operating at peak efficiency. When you keep up with routine maintenance, you can enjoy lower energy bills and extend the life of your system, while reducing the need for expensive repairs.
Electrical maintenance is also important to prevent failure. The wires and outlets in your home shouldn’t spark, generate a lot of heat, or flicker when you’re using them. A regular inspection of your electrical system can help you save money and reduce the risk of major problems in the future.
Older light bulbs can waste quite a bit of energy, especially if they’re in highly utilized rooms of the home. When you leave an incandescent light bulb on for several hours, it will start to heat up and could raise the temperature of your indoor air, forcing the air conditioner to work harder. These bulbs also aren’t very efficient, so they waste energy when you have them on for long periods of time. Swap out your old incandescents with compact fluorescent bulbs or LED bulbs to trim the waste.
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