How to save energy, room by room
Eco-friendly choices are incredibly important these days—but it can certainly feel like information overload at times. From smart home technology that monitors your energy to “upcycling” projects to deciding on a kitchen floor, there’s a lot to consider when you go green.
To simplify things a bit, we’ve put together a guide that walks you room by room through an eco-conscious home—in part directly from the mouths of our customers and followers. With these tips, you too can become the “hero” of your house, saving energy and reducing your household bills at the same time. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Your kitchen is likely one of the most energy-hungry rooms in the house, thanks to big appliances like your refrigerator, oven and dishwasher. Let’s focus on that last one, your dishwasher. When it’s time to replace this appliance, make sure to purchase an Energy Star-certified model for a big impact; a new Energy Star dishwasher will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime. Some models may also incorporate tech innovations such as soil sensors, which test how dirty dishes are and adjust the cycle accordingly, or energy-efficient jets.
The bathroom is another troublesome area of the house, especially if you have several family members rotating showers, teeth brushing and hand washing. One easy way to lower your energy bills in the bathroom is to lower the thermostat on your water heater: For every 10 degrees you reduce the temperature, you can save three to five percent on your bill.
We’re in the height of the summer now, and keeping your bedroom cool can be a chore. Do you rely on air conditioning? Instead, consider the energy-saving alternatives. Using a ceiling fan, for example, typically costs only one cent per day, and can make your room feel three to eight degrees cooler. Other ideas: try closing your bedroom doors and investing in a pedestal fan, or use a portable AC unit at night, allowing you to turn off the central air.
The living room is another place in our home that may have several electrical devices running at once. The biggest tip here is a simple one: get a surge protector! That way, it’s an easy switch to power down everything at once when you leave the house, helping you to conserve electricity. “Vampire” energy, after all, costs consumers in the United States more than $3 billion a year.
Computers and laptops and modems, oh my! How do you stay connected and productive in an energy-efficient home? Setting your computer to sleep/hibernate mode is a great way to use less electricity during inactivity; Energy Star estimates that using this feature can save you up to $30 annually on your electricity bill.
Getting creative about the plants and trees around your home can also make a difference in your energy use. Planting deciduous trees (the type that sheds their leave seasonally) on the west side of your home, for example, will maximize shade to keep your home cooler in the summer. Doing so can reduce your air conditioning costs up to 30 percent, according to the National Arbor Day Foundation.
We hope these tips helps simplify some of the most powerful eco-friendly choices you can make. Want to learn more? Check out StarTex Power’s interactive graphic below to explore additional energy-efficient tips around the house.