You don’t have to spend a lot of money to improve your home’s energy efficiency. There are plenty of simple no-cost and low-cost steps you can take to save energyand money.
“One of the great things about energy efficiency is that it gives people the feeling of empowerment, that they really can take some level of control over their home energy costs. That’s a hopeful sign when a lot of people are struggling economically,” says Ronnie J. Kweller with the Alliance to Save Energy.
Here are five easy ways to take control and start saving now:
- Turn off anything that’s not in use. That includes energy-hogging computers and monitors if they won’t be used for two hours or more. “You’re not going to wear it out by turning it on and off,” Kweller says.
- Let the sun shine insometimes. In warm months, block the sun’s heat by keeping curtains and blinds closed on the south, east and west windows. On chilly days, open window coverings to let the sun shine in.
- Air-dry dishes. Turn off your dishwasher’s heat drying cycle and allow dishes to air dry.
- Unplug cell-phone chargers. According to www.change.org, perpetually plugged-in chargers could eat up enough electricity daily to power about 100,000 American homes.
- Clean or replace your home’s air filter. Check filters monthly. A new filter, which costs $10 or less, not only improves indoor air quality, but helps your heating and cooling system work more efficiently, as well. “That’s a pretty small cost to make sure that your fan isn’t working overtime to push the air through a dirty filter,” Kweller says.