Electricity usage represents a large cost for both your home and your office. Therefore, you must make sure that you use power in the most efficient ways possible. You may find appliances and lights that use electricity when you don't really need them to work. When you discover those things, you can eliminate unnecessary usage and save money on your energy bills. You can also do small things every day to conserve energy. Check out these ways to save energy at the office and at home, from a powerstrips program to unplugging energy vampires.
Test Your Home
A great first step to see what appliances or habits use excess energy is to perform a test in your home.
Checking Plugged-in Devices
First, make sure that your air conditioning or heating is off. Then, turn off your water heater as well. Next, make sure everything is turned off in your home, but leave these things plugged in. Finally, go outside and look at your electric meter box. If the numbers still increase, your plugged-in devices are still using energy even though they aren't technically in use.
Schedule an Energy Audit
Another way to assess the energy usage in your home or business is by scheduling an energy audit. This is a great way to see how much energy your building uses, identify any problem areas where energy loss is occurring and then make a plan to put energy-saving improvements in place. Find a professional to perform this energy audit.
Prepare for the Audit
Before the audit, get together your last year of utility bills. Make sure all areas of the house or building are cleared for entry, including basements and attics. This gives the auditor an opportunity to review your energy use, check insulation, and look for leaks that are difficult to detect.
Pay Attention to Energy Vampires
Energy vampires are appliances and other things that are continually plugged in even though they may not be in use.
Minimize their impact by unplugging these energy wasters. Remind everyone about unplugging devices when they are done using them. This can add up over time.
Another way to cut down on damage from energy vampires is by using powerstrips. When the items plugged into the strip are turned off, you can turn off the powerstrip itself to stop them from using additional energy.
Add a Surge Protector
Make sure to get a powerstrip with a surge protector. A surge protector keeps plugged-in items from becoming damaged during power outages or severe storms.
Use Motion Sensors
A great way to save energy is to use lights that have motion detectors. This automatically turns these lights off when no one needs them.
Add Security to Your Property
Besides saving energy, motion sensor lights add a layer of security to your property. The lights go on when someone passes by.
Reverse Your Fans
In the winter, all your ceiling fans can be used to push warm air down by reversing the circulation.
Remember the Summer
When the warm weather returns, remember to put the fans back to the usual position to cool off the environment. This is another way to conserve energy and cut costs.
An easy fix at home is to turn down the heat and pile on the blankets. This is not a good solution at your office because you don't want to make your employees cold on purpose.
A Home Solution
However, when you're at home it's a good solution to help reduce your energy costs in the winter. Plus, it feels cozy to snuggle up under a soft blanket on a chilly night.
Seal Any Air Leaks
Prevent heat loss by sealing leaks around windows and doors with caulking, weatherstripping and spray foam. Air leaks keep warm air in and cold air out.
A Quick Test
Looking for air leaks can be as simple as lighting a match to see what areas of the house will make it flicker or blow out.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If your home is empty during the day or your office is empty at night, a programmable thermostat is a great energy saver.
Save Money When Nobody is Home
By lowering the thermostat in winter and raising it in the summer when no one is there, you're saving money by not heating and cooling when it's unnecessary. If you do this correctly, you can save 10 percent or even more on your electricity bills.
Pay Attention to Your Windows
During the winter, you should keep your curtains open during the day in to let in sunlight, natural warmth, and bright light into your home.
Once sunset hits, you should close these coverings to minimize heat loss. If you have older windows that are less efficient, consider replacing them or using heavier curtains in the winter to prevent heat from escaping.
Use Smartphone Apps
There are many smartphone apps out there that track your energy usage as well as make recommendations to improve your efficiency and energy savings.
Now there are also smart homes and other smart devices that put energy regulation at your fingertips, even when you are not at home.
Consider Energy Star Appliances
Another great way to save energy is to use quality Energy Star appliances in your home and office.
Look for the Label
Energy Star appliances typically bear a distinctive label. These devices help reduce energy costs without sacrificing quality.
Saving energy is important to the environment as well as your bottom line. By following the steps above, you can make both your home and office more energy efficient.
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