Just like in the movie Groundhog Day, each day may feel like a repeat of the one before. However, routines and habits are not all bad. In fact, psychologists believe routines can be comforting and helpful in accomplishing goals.
If becoming energy efficient is a routine you want to get into, consider these five habits to help you save time, money and energy.
Set it and forget it
Program your thermostat so you are not heating or cooling an empty house. Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature setting of your home. Or manually adjust your thermostat before heading out the door. The benefit of programmable thermostats is that they can be set to adjust the temperature before you return home so you are not walking into a hot or cold house.
You can save up to 10% a year by adjusting your thermostat by 7-10°F hotter or cooler for eight hours a day.
Rinse and repeat
Take shorter showers to save time and money. Heating water is a huge energy user. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heaters account for almost 17 percent of your home’s energy use. You may love a long luxurious shower in the morning, but save energy by limiting your shower to five minutes. And if you really want to save, make your shower a little cooler. Cool showers can also increase alertness and improve circulation.
Let the sunshine in
On cooler days, open your blinds and curtains before you leave your house to let the sun warm up the inside. You will be using the power of the sun to keep the inside of your home toasty, which will make your heating system work less to heat your home.
On hot days, close your blinds and curtains to keep the sun out. Your cooling system will not have to battle the sun to keep your home cool.
Turn it off
Use power strips throughout your home for your frequently used electronic devices. Did you know that even when some older electronic devices, like your TV or computer, are turned off, they are stealing small amounts of power while plugged in? If they are plugged into a power strip, also known as a surge protector, you can simply switch off the power strip when they are not in use. Do this before you go to bed or leave the house to save energy.
Go old school
Hang your clothes out to dry, either inside or outside the house. This may be an extreme measure for most of us, but doing this for even one load of laundry a week can save energy. Clothes dryers use a lot of electricity. And if this habit doesn’t seem feasible, look for the Energy Star® label when purchasing new appliances. These appliances exceed the minimum standards for efficiency and quality.
These five habits of energy saving tips are ones you won’t mind repeating once you see savings in your electric bill. Make Groundhog Day a holiday to learn new ways to keep more money in your pocket.
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