21 Common Ways Homeowners Waste Energy
What if we told you to flush a $100 bill down the toilet right now, would you listen?
Most likely not, yet, many homeowners do this on more than one occasion when it comes to their home energy bill, unknowingly wasting energy and throwing money down the toilet.
Below we highlight 21 common ways homeowners waste energy, let's get right into it!
1. Leaving Everything Plugged In
Yes, the majority of modern-day electronics are designed to make day-to-day life easier, however, they are also built to extract energy by using electricity, even when they are not being used.
They can suck up to about 10 percent of the electricity in a household.
This includes televisions, printers, computers, and so on.
Make sure to plug them off if you are not using them and save energy.
2. Air Conditioner Filters
If you forget to take care of the filters in your air conditioner and generally forget monthly AC maintenance, then you are automatically making your AC work harder instead of smarter.
If you want to get the most out of the AC, then make sure to clean the filters at least once a month to ensure peak performance.
Also, take a look at the coils and clean them with a vacuum cleaner.
3. Clogged Furnace Filters
Furnace filters can also get easily clogged and have a negative impact on your electricity bill.
Furthermore, the HVAC failures are mostly due to dirty air filters, restricting the flow of air into the furnace and heavily straining the entire system.
To ensure that you have a smooth-running system, make sure to clean the filters at least once a month.
Vacuum the vents and the returns and ducts as well to provide an even easier functioning flow.
4. Improper Insulation
Avoid unwanted heat loss and higher bills by simply adding proper insulation.
Just make sure that you have enough insulation in your attic, note that the recommendation is about 10 to 14 inches of insulation.
5. Owning An Aged Water Heater
Replacing an old water heater is always the best way to go.
The regular water heater takes up to about 17 percent of your overall monthly energy bill.
Another survey discovered that more than 41 million households have water heaters that are older than 10 years.
A new water heater makes a big difference and it will save you plenty on electricity bills.
6. Issues With The Windows And Doors
Wasted energy can be found just about everywhere in the household, including windows and doors.
Be aware of the cracks and gaps between doors and windows, because this is where the heat escapes from.
Commit to a yearly checkup and check all of the windows and doors for any air leaks, and fix them before the heating season starts.
This is how you will make sure that you get the most out of your heating system and avoid energy loss.
7. Light Bulbs That Spend Too Much
All of the wasted energy from your light bulbs can really add up over a longer period of time.
Buy Energy Star light bulbs so you can save more.
And when the holiday season arrives, LED lights are the way to go, mostly because they use 90 percent less energy than ordinary string lights.
8. Storm Doors
When you notice a draft coming from your front door or maybe your back door, it's time for you to add storm doors.
This upgrade will help shield you from being blasted by unwanted pricey electricity bills.
Believe it or not, a storm door is able to increase the energy efficiency in the home by almost half - that's 45 percent!
9. Not Using The Maximum Out Of A Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans help the air evenly distribute around the room, cutting your electricity bill by cooling the room in summer and warmer in winter.
However, in order to make the most out of them, you need to know how to properly use them.
In the summer, make sure to turn it on counter-clockwise so it can push the air down in the room, and in the winter, make sure to turn it on clockwise so it creates an updraft and pushes the warm air down, distributing it across the room.
10. Keeping Your Old Fridge
All of those fridges that people tend to keep at home that date back from the 1970s and 1980s actually spend a lot more energy than you think.
Replacing an old model from the 70s can save you about $200 on an annual level, and replacing a fridge from the 80s can save you about $100 per year.
11. Foundation Filled With Cracks
Most homeowners are unaware that their home may have issues with foundation cracks, they are often overlooked and regarded as insignificant, but in reality, it's quite the opposite.
Make sure your entire foundation is good.
Check regularly for cracks every year, and of course, repair any cracks along the way.
Seal them and you will see the difference.
12. Window Coverings
When you are using window covers, make sure to use them in the proper way – whether we are talking about curtains, drapes, shades, or blinds, appropriately using them will save you a lot of money.
In the summer, make sure to keep the covers closed where the sunny side is in order to reduce the cooling costs, and in the winter, let the sun inside so it can heat up the home.
13. Make Sure You Set The Temperature Just Right
When you are setting the temperature in the winter or in the summer, please make sure not to go to any extremes.
Here it's all about the numbers.
In the summer, the optimal temperature should be somewhere between 75 F and 78 F, and in the winter 68 F during the day, 60 F during the night.
Anything that is outside these parameters might cost you some extra money.
14. Maintaining A Temperature In An Empty House
This one is a pretty obvious one: why heat or cool a house if there is no one around?
Upgrading to a smart thermostat is the way to go here.
This is one of those cases where it is best if you are able to program the temperature remotely (from your tablet or smartphone); maintaining an acceptable temperature in the home.
You can also easily switch off the AC when the home is completely empty, ultimately lowering your energy consumption.
And the best part is that it can save you hundreds of dollars annually.
15. Opt For A Strategic Landscape
Remember to work on the exterior of the house just as well as the interior in order to make your home more effective in terms of energy saving.
If you plant some trees in a strategic way around the house you can get plenty of shade in the summer days, meaning you will not have to turn your AC on for a long period of time.
In the autumn, when the leaves start falling down, you will get enough warmth from the sun rays that will come through the trees once the leaves have fallen.
In terms of winter, planting some evergreen trees can protect you from the harsh winter winds, especially if you plant the trees on the north side of the home.
16. An Open Fireplace
Again, most people might not think of this one, but leaving an open fireplace is somewhat of a big cost.
The reason for this is that it generates the heat from the inside and it takes it outside through the chimney.
Minimize the loss of heat by adding a glass screen or maybe a convection grate for when you are not using the fireplace.
17. Not Remembering To Turn Off The Lights
Another one for the books, a very obvious one that somehow people always tend to miss!
You can save energy if you just remember to turn off the lights.
There is really no need to keep the lights on in every room, especially if you are not using them.
However, it is very easy to leave a room and forget to switch off the light.
Thankfully, there is a good solution for this one!
Smart home systems are designed specifically for these types of things – you can easily set a timer for the lights to turn off at a certain time.
18. Use The Dishwasher Half-Empty
You can lower the power consumption of your dishwasher if you use it in a more efficient way.
If you turn it on less often, you are guaranteed to save more energy.
Also, make sure to avoid the economy setting on the dishwasher.
Just air-dry the dishes, that should do the trick!
19. Avoid Using Extra Energy When You Are Cooking
When you are turning your stove or oven several times in the day, you are bound to spend more electricity!
This is why we suggest turning it on and then doing all the cooking you have to do for the day, and then turning it off.
It is a perfect way to save on energy while you are cooking.
20. Extra-Long Showers Are A No-No
A small change in your behaviour is all that is needed here.
If you manage to reduce the time you are in the shower, all the while not running the hot water constantly, you can save a lot of energy.
So save energy by taking short showers.
Also, try avoid using extremely hot water. Stick with something rather moderate in terms of heat.
21. Keep An Eye On Your Water Heater Settings
You don’t need to turn the thermostat on your water heater up to 140 degrees F.
You can easily use 120 degrees F and save a bit on your energy.
This way you'll have enough hot water to take shower and wash your dishes.
The water will be hot enough for you and your family.
The only thing you need to check is if you have a newer updated water heater model.
If you have any questions about home energy savings and upgrading to an energy-efficient energy system, please call 416-335-0881 any time 24/7/365 or chat with us in near real-time on Facebook.