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5 Ways to Save Energy Without Inconvenience

Miles YoungThe power bill comes every month. Although we often gripe at the cost, we just pay it and move on. What we should be doing instead is taking a look at things we can change in our homes that will save on energy usage. The problem is that we typically don't like to make the effort for what we think will amount to only a few dollars saved.

What if there were a few changes you could make to your home that would save you a large amount of money each month? Would you take the time then? You can make numerous cost-saving changes in your home. To get you started, here are five ways to conserve energy without inconveniencing your lifestyle.

Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature

water heater | Flickr/Mark Florence

Image via Flickr by Mark Florence 

Most water heaters come preset from the factory at 140 degrees. For most people, that's very hot. If you turn your shower faucet all the way to hot and let it run for a minute, you can test the temperature. If the water is scalding, you know you can turn your thermostat down. Energy.gov recommends that for most people, 120 degrees tends to be a comfortably hot temperature. 

By turning your water heater down just 10 degrees, you can save approximately 3 to 5 percent on your energy bill. The savings may seem like a small amount, but it does add up. 

Use Water Saving Fixtures

If you limit the length of time you spend showering, you'll reduce water-heating usage. However, for some people, the idea of taking a faster shower is unappealing and not something they are willing to do. Instead, you can look into installing water-saving fixtures. 

You may not realize just how much water flows out of your shower head and how much is wasted during a shower. Simply by installing WaterSense fixtures, you can reduce your usage by 30 percent and lower the amount of water you are heating by the same amount. 

Take Advantage of Your Window Treatments

living room blinds | Flickr/Stephan Harris

Image via Flickr by Stephen Harris

Did you know that your curtains and blinds are more than just decorations and light blockers? They also keep the temperature in your home constant as outdoor temperatures fluctuate. By closing your curtains during summer days, you keep the sun from heating your rooms and, thus, keep your air-conditioning from running quite as much. And the opposite is true for the winter, when your curtains and blinds help block the cold from seeping through the windows. A warmer room means your heater runs less. 

Switch to LED

bulbs | Flickr/Samsung Tomorrow

Image via Flickr by Samsung Tomorrow

Are you a creature of habit who's stuck in old-school ways by using incandescent light bulbs? If so, the simplest thing you can do to save on your power bill is switching to LED bulbs. Also, if you decorate your house during Christmastime, you know that your energy bill can increase significantly with Christmas lights burning every evening. Using LED lights is 75 percent more energy-efficient than using incandescent lights. This can make a huge difference in your energy bill. Using LED bulbs from companies such as ChristmasLightsEtc.com not only can save you a ton of money but can also reduce your carbon footprint. 

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Eco View thermostat | Flickr/Advanced Technology

Image via Flickr by Advanced Telemetry

Need a quick and easy way to save on energy costs? Check into using a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature for different times of the day as well as for different days. If you are away during business hours Monday through Friday, there is no reason for your air-conditioning to be constantly running until just before you come home in the evening. Why not program your thermostat and save up to 15 percent on your annual energy bill by simply adjusting your thermostat 10 degrees during hours you are not home?

Taking the time to make these five easy adjustments in your home will not only benefit the environment but also will save you money. So instead of griping over your power bill each month, make these changes and smile knowing that next month your bill will drop.

nebraskadave
2/4/2015 8:24:10 AM

Miles, all good things to conserve energy. I like to bring my in house comfort to the edge a little more than others are willing to do. My winter temperature in the house is about 68 degrees in the living room where the thermostat is but the bedrooms can dip into the lower 50s at night. When the sun is shining brightly, I open the insulated curtains and let the sun shine in. On overcast days the curtains are closed. During the summer months the temperature in the house in 78 degrees. During the transition seasons I open the windows at night to let in the cool air. Then when I get up the windows are closed and the curtains are closed as well. Many times the air conditioner doesn't kick on until the after noon. It's a little more work but saves quite a lot if diligently done. During the summer months, the curtains are closed during the hot part of the day to keep the heat out. ***** Have a great utility cost saving day.