Energy bills can be one of the bigger expenses of homeowning, especially when you’re not careful about how you’re using your energy. What might seem like a small difference, such as increasing the temperature on the thermostat by a few degrees or forgetting to turn the lights off when you leave a room, can have a huge impact on your bill at the end of the month. However, not all of the little changes will address the big energy eaters in your home. While which of these uses the most energy in your home might vary depending on your lifestyle, these are the top ways energy is spent in your home.
- Heating and Cooling: Across the board, heating and cooling use up the most energy in almost every home. In fact, HVAC systems, air conditioning, and heating systems can account for 50% of the energy use of an average home. To reduce the impact of this portion of your energy bill, reduce your heating and cooling in your home by a few degrees when possible. It might seem like a small shift, but it adds up over time.
- Appliances: Depending on your select appliance, your usage may vary, but appliances can account for 12% or more of total home energy usage. If you’re looking to lower the amount of energy spent on appliances, consider switching out older fixtures for more modern ones. Most modern appliances are designed to be more energy efficient than their older predecessors, and making the switch can reduce overall consumption.
- Water Heaters: Water heaters, like heating and cooling, can take up a significant portion of an energy bill. Water heaters and clothes dryers can cost 40 cents an hour to run, meaning every load of laundry you wash, every shower you take, and any time you run hot water can cost a dollar or two. If you think about how often you use hot water, it starts to add up! Consider washing your clothes with cold water, or reducing the maximum temperature on your water heater.
- Lighting: Lighting doesn’t seem like it’d take too much energy, but think again. Running one light bulb might not be too expensive, but having all the lights on throughout your house can add up quickly. When you leave a room, be sure to turn out the lights to make sure you’re not spending money and wasting energy to light a room nobody’s in.
How will you change your daily habits to reduce the amount of energy you use? Try some of the tips above to see how much you can save on your energy bills.