Ask Away Blog: 18 Small Energy-Saving Changes To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

18 Small Energy-Saving Changes To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Friday, September 4, 2020

 

The amount of energy that you use in your home impacts not only your bills but also on the environment. We all have a responsibility to save energy in our homes in any way we can. Here’s how you can you do that in order to lower your energy bills and make your home a little more eco-friendly.

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1.Swap your bulbs for LEDs. Lower-energy bulbs will use less power and will last longer. The bulbs might be more expensive to buy at first, but when you’ve got them in, they will last a lot longer, so save both power and money in the long-run.

2.Stop using paper towels. Ok, you don’t have to stop using them altogether if you’ll struggle without them, but commit to using fewer. Paper towels create a lot of waste. Instead, swap to using rags. Cut up old clothes to use as cleaning cloths, or buy cleaning rags that can be washed and reused.

3.Get attic insulation. Insulation from a company like https://www.insulatekansascity.com/attic-insulation/ will help to keep heat inside your home in the colder months and keep the cold out. This means you won’t have to turn the heating up as high, using and wasting less energy. You’ll save energy, and lower your heating bill, which is always welcome.

4.Clean the fridge coils. Buy a long thin cleaning brush and use it to gently loosen any lint and other dirt from the coils under your fridge. If the coils aren’t clogged up, the fridge can regulate it’s temperature more effectively and will use less power to run.

5.Clean the filter on your dryer. The same tool can be used to clean the lint slot in your dryer. Without lint all over the filter, your dryer will run more efficiently.

6.Line-dry whenever you can. Running the dryer every time you need to dry clothes uses a lot of power. Whenever you can, dry your clothes on the line outside. Drying outside makes clothes smell great, and not going through the dryer is much better for your delicates too. If the weather won’t let you hang clothes outside, buy a clothes horse to use inside when you can.

7.Get a set of dryer balls. Think about the number of dryer sheets that you use whenever you do have to run the dryer. All of these dryer sheets have to go somewhere when you’re done with them. To reduce the amount of waste you create, and the chemicals that dryer sheets release into the water, invest in a set of dryer balls. They do the same job without the chemicals or the waste and last a very long time.

8.Shop vintage. When you next decide to upgrade a piece of furniture, start by looking in your local thrift shop or selling sites online. If you can find something used that you love, you get something vintage and a little different and aren’t sending your old furniture to landfill. If you can’t face the idea of secondhand furniture, donate your own old furniture when you replace it, so someone else can use it.

9.Get window treatments. Bare windows look a bit naked and strange, but they also let out a lot of heat. If you’re preparing your home for winter, buy curtains or blinds to help your windows keep the heat inside where it belongs.

10.Use cold water to wash your clothes. Cold water washes clothes just as effectively as hotter water. Hot water can actually set stains, so turn down the temperature on your washing machine. If the machine isn’t working to heat the water, it will use less energy.

11.Water the plants with used water. Instead of running the tap when you need to water the plants, use water you have saved from somewhere else. This could be the water you used to wash the dishes earlier or rainwater from a water butt. You can use a lot less water this way, and still get the garden watered.

12.Stop using plastic bags. Most of us have a stash of reusable bags and totes stuffed under the sink, but we’re not always that great at remembering to take them with us. Put some in your car, so you have some if you stop off at the grocery store unplanned, and put some wherever your store your jackets, so you can see them and be reminded to grab one when you head out. This way, you will need to use a lot fewer plastic bags which just end up in landfills. If you do take a plastic bag, find a way to reuse it at home, such as for a lining for a small bin.

13.Get a recycling bin. Make it as easy as you can for yourself to recycle your waste, so you’re more likely to actually do it. Buy a recycling bin and put it by your regular bin, so chucking things like empty bottles straight in there is much easier.

14.Skip the elevator. If you live in an apartment building, skip using the elevator and take the stairs instead. This uses less power and helps you get fitter too.

15.Buy a compost bin. A small bin where you can throw things like used tea bags, food scraps, and other compostables will drastically reduce the waste you produce. You also get free fertilizer for your garden!

16.Clean out and give things away. When you’re having a spring clean or a clearout, don’t just throw things away for them to find their way to a landfill. Sell what you can, and donate the rest so someone else can get use of it.

17.Fill your dishwasher all the way up before turning it on. Don’t run the dishwasher half-empty, as this is a big waste of both power and water. Wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it. If you can’t wait, see if your dishwasher has a setting for the top rack only, and use that.

18.Run the dishwasher at night. Has your dishwasher got a timer? If it has, set it to run during your energy company’s ‘off-peak’ hours, usually the middle of the night. By doing this, you get cheaper use and reduce peak energy demand on the grid.

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