Trying to get your family all fired up about energy savings?
Well, then you want to make sure that they understand what works best, and what might not work at all.
For example, look at the first tip:
1. Turning Off the Lights Doesn’t Help That Much
If you ask many Americans how to save energy, the most common response will be to “turn off the lights.”
Yes. That’s an obvious way to get some savings.
But, out of all the actions you can take, it doesn’t even fall into the top ten things you can do to save energy.
And, what’s more is that certain bulbs, like CFLs, actually save more energy if you leave them on if you have to go out of the room for less than 15 minutes.
That’s because turning CFLs on and off uses a high amount of electricity.
So if your family members mention turning off the lights, make sure you appreciate the thought. But educate them, and yourself, that it’s actually not one of the things you should pay most attention to.
2. The Best Thing You Can Do to Save Energy in Your Home
Here, we’re excluding anything that costs you more money to reduce your energy usage. For example, buying appliances with greater energy efficiency.
So, in your home as it stands right now, your HVAC system eats up about 46% of all your energy usage.
That makes it the leading source of energy usage in your home by far. And that means anything you can do to increase your HVAC efficiency will be the best thing you can do to save more energy.
And this year, this effect is greatly compounded with you being at home much more.
Can you decrease your thermostat a few degrees in winter? Can you increase it a few degrees in summer?
Can you turn your thermostat down at night and sleep below heavier blankets? Can you dress more warmly during the day so you don’t need to turn on the heat as high?
In other words, how can you optimize your HVAC systems usage and your dependence on it?
That’ll give you the greatest energy efficiency gains.
3. The Next Most Important Area for Savings
In a general sense, reducing your usage of hot water is the next best way to save energy. That reduces energy used by your hot water heater.
And in particular, this fortunately doesn’t mean taking cold showers.
Rather, you can get the best energy savings by washing and rinsing your clothes only in cold water, according to a TechCrunch article.
That’s energy saved that won’t affect your comfort at all!
It’s important for your family to know exactly what works so you actually save the energy you want. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated, wondering why you’re not seeing the difference you had hoped for.
So focus on these areas to start. It’ll be oh-so-motivating when you see your energy bill in the coming months.