Did you know it costs almost as much to power your appliances as any other part of your home? As technology becomes more and more integrated into our lives, it has steadily become a larger percentage of our rising electricity use.1 Fortunately, you’re not helpless in the fight against higher monthly bills.
While federal energy efficiency standards have created more efficient appliances, there are still many devices throughout your home that constantly drain power. Everything from hair dryers to video game systems to coffee makers has an efficient and inefficient way to be used. And while most small appliances cost less than $50 a year in energy bills, the more devices you have in your home, the more it adds up.
With a few simple tweaks, you can make your appliance use more energy efficient, saving you money and reducing your environmental footprint. We’ve put together this guide to give you some easy to follow suggestions for DIY energy efficiency tasks around the house. We’ve also suggested projects that might need more expert advice, so we’ve offered some tips for finding and hiring people who can help you save money on your energy bills. Let’s get started!
There are several ways you can make your appliances a smaller monthly expense, with minimal time commitment or cost. Here are some ideas of DIY projects and simple tips for saving energy.
Insulating blankets for water heaters run around $20 a piece, but some utility companies offer discounts or rebates, making them virtually free. The basic steps include turning off the water heater, measuring the blanket to size, cutting out spaces for the controls, and taping the blanket into place. You can check out the detailed project guide at energy.gov.
There are many DIY projects and hacks to lower your energy bills, but it may take some professional assistance to make the biggest dents in your energy bills. For your larger home appliances, here are a few popular options that could result in major savings.
Schedule Regular ApplianceMaintenance: Major appliances such as your HVAC unit, water heater, electrical system, furnace, and ducts should be checked at least yearly. Regular wear and tear can kill an appliance’s efficiency, and multiply your energy spending.
Many service companies offer maintenance plans that include checking on your appliances twice a year, usually right before summer and winter to be sure your equipment is ready to withstand the high and low temperatures of the seasons. While this may add to your seasonal expenses, keep in mind appliance maintenance is much more affordable than appliance repair or replacement.
Schedule a home energy audit: A home energy audit can give you detailed information about where your house is losing the most energy. Making upgrades based on your home energy audit can save you 5-30% on your energy bills.6
A professional home energy auditor will come to your home to assess its energy efficiency, as well as point out any potential health or safety hazards. They are trained to find ways to save you money by assessing your appliances and checking your home for unnecessary and hidden energy usage. The auditor will also analyze past energy bills to understand your home and family’s level of energy consumption.
Hiring a home energy auditor is easy, but take the following precautions to make sure you’re working with a true expert.
For more help, check out our guide to hire home remodelers that features several great tips for hiring experts to work on your home.
Saving energy is not only good for the environment; it’s good for your wallet. Appliances cause an extraordinary amount of unnecessary electrical usage. Even when something isn’t running it can be drawing power, which slowly takes away money out of your wallet. A few simple tricks to use with appliances at home can go a long way toward saving you money. And when you’re ready for bigger projects with larger energy savings rewards, look for an expert who can save you time and money!