When we moved into a larger home two and half years ago I we were excited about a lot of things. A new neighborhood, extra space, and more privacy among other things.
However, when our first electric bill arrived we were a lot less excited. $600?! Yeah, we needed to make some changes. These are some of the changes we’ve made to create a smart home and decrease our energy usage and costs.
1. Avoid Energy Vampires
Vampires were all the rage a few years ago, but there’s nothing exciting or romantic about energy vampires. These are appliances and electronics that continue to suck up energy when they aren’t being used simply because they’re plugged in.
Using smart strips or unplugging appliances and electronics when they’re on in use is a simple solution to money slowly leaking from your wallet.
2. Replacing Light Bulbs
Replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs can make a big difference to your wallet. CFLs use 75% less energy than their incandescent alternatives, and can last years before needing to be replaced.
Some people have voiced concerns regarding CFL bulbs and their contents (specifically mercury) so LED bulbs may be a preferred alternative for some.
3. Use Light Dimmers
Using dimmers on your lights can reduce your energy usage by 40%. They’re a great way to decrease usage while increasing the romantic mood.
*Only certain CFL bulbs are dimmable. Don’t try to dim a CFL bulb that’s not labeled as dimmable.
4. Set Water Heater to 120 degrees or lower
I love a nice hot bath or shower, but a water heater set too high can be dangerous and a big drain on your wallet.
The EPA estimates that a water heater set above 140 degrees can water almost $500 a year from bringing the water up to the set temperature and maintaining it. A setting of 120 degrees or below is recommended for those with small children (to avoid chances of burns) and for those wanting to save money on energy. It’s an easy way to put money back in your pocket and have a little more peace of mind.
5. Temperature Control with Direct Energy Smart Thermostat
Programming your thermostat is a great way to decrease energy costs and optimize when your energy’s being used, but it’s also another thing to add to the to do list. Imagine how cool it would be to have a thermostat that can learn your habits and progam itself accordingly!
That’s exactly what the Direct Energy Nest Learning Thermostat does. It learns your habits and preferences and sets itself to your likes. Best of all, it can even be controlled via your smart phone. Feeling particularly cold after a fun afternoon sledding? Bump the heat up a little so it’ll be nice and warm when you get home.
Direct Energy is currently hosting a sweepstakes where 5 lucky winners will have the chance to win Nest Learning Thermostats!
To enter the sweepstakes, visit the campaign landing page and simply fill out the entry form. The giveaway will take place from Wednesday, October 1st to Wednesday, October 22nd. Winners will be selected in Mid-November.
These tips have done a lot to lower out bills, but I’d love to know what your favorite tips for decreasing energy use and saving money are. Please share in the comments below, and good luck in the sweepstakes!
I’d like to say a big thank you to Direct Energy for sponsoring today’s post and for hosting such a great giveaway.