Did you know that new windows can lower your energy bills? In fact, depending on where you live, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that you can save up to $501 annually by replacing older single-pane windows with new Energy Star approved models. You don’t necessarily have to replace your windows, however, to start saving money. There are plenty of ways to spend less every month on energy, as well as protect the environment, that don’t require a ton of extra time or money.
So where do you begin?
Start with your laundry habits
Do you wash your laundry in hot water every time? Well, if you do, stop. Washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot water can save you $152 a year in energy bills as your hot water heater won’t be running as much. Packing the appropriate amount of clothes in your washer and doing loads at night can also decrease your bills. And not only will you save money, your cotton clothes won’t shrink and wear out as fast as they normally do!
Set your water heater at the right temperature
Speaking of your hot water heater, it should be set at 120 degrees. The EPA estimates that a water heater set at 140 degrees or higher can waste $36 to $61 every year in standby heat losses to keep your water at that temperature. They also estimate that you can waste $400 to bring fresh water up to that temperature of 140.
Help your refrigerator run better
Believe it or not, the way you pack your refrigerator can affect its efficiency. Leave room at the front of your refrigerator/freezer so that the air can circulate better. With the freezer, it’s good to keep it full, but not packed, because frozen food stays colder longer than air. Finally, EnergyStar calculates that old, inefficient refrigerators cost an extra $110 per year to operate.
Energy efficiency is key to reducing your energy bills, and if you follow all three steps listed above, could easily save $323 on your annual energy costs. It is very important that we as inhabitants of Earth take care of the planet, but these simple steps will benefit you as well. Make sure to wash your clothes in cold water, set your water heater at 120 degrees, and pack your refrigerator correctly. These things will help you save money, and Mother Nature will be happy as well.