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Super simple ways to save on energy

A high energy bill is a lose-lose: it’s a negative for the environment, and it’s not something your bank account wants to see, either. If you’re looking to save some money on your bills, here are nine easy, compounding steps to lower your annual energy cost and help the environment at the same time.

Unplug unused appliances:

Unplug any appliance or equipment that is not in use. Better yet, consider plugging all your appliances into power strips that can be easily turned off when not in use.

Utilize natural light sources:

Use natural lighting from windows whenever possible to avoid racking up unnecessary lighting expenses. Consider getting hobby or craft lights to use for small areas that don’t require full overhead lighting, and always turn lights off when you’re not in the room or actively using them. Replace your regular incandescent bulbs with LEDs to not only save money on your electricity bill but also make your bulbs last 50 times longer.

Weatherproof your home:

Make sure that you’re not losing the air you’re paying to heat and cool through cracks in your doorframe or windows. Use caulk or weather strips to fill in the empty space and decrease your overall energy spending. This is especially important when winterizing your home for cooler weather.

Invest in a dishwasher:

Opt for using the dishwasher over handwashing dishes—yes, the easy choice can save you a few bucks! Wait until you’ve got a full load of dishes, though, before running the appliance to ensure you’re being efficient and getting the highest amount of savings. If you run it overnight, you can avoid using the heat dry cycle to save even more.

Use energy-efficient appliances:

Consider switching to a low-flow showerhead so you don’t get more water at once than you need and take shorter and colder showers. Although the idea may make you cringe, research shows that colder showers can have several health benefits. Even turning the temp down for one shower a week could add up to energy savings.

Install ceiling fans:

Use ceiling fans to cool down a room instead of reaching to lower the thermostat. These machines can lower the room temp by up to 10 degrees while using only 10% of the energy required to air condition at the same temperature, according to the National Resources Defense Council.

Adjust the thermostat:

When sleeping or going away for extended periods of time, consider lowering the heat or turning off the AC to avoid heating or cooling a space that won’t be used. Programmable thermostats can be a great way to automize the process so you can save energy without constantly having to worry about it.

Use water sparingly:

Be sure to turn off the water while you’re shaving, brushing your teeth or washing your hands. All these actions can cause water costs to go up, and turning the water off for a few minutes can help you save on the cost of a continuous trickle of water. Don’t wash or dry your laundry until you have enough clothes to make up a full load. When washing them, use cold water instead of hot water. Since most detergents are formulated to function best in cold water anyway, you may even end up saving on your grocery bill by using less detergent.

Hang up your wet clothes:

In the spring and summer as weather permits, consider drying your laundry outside on a clothesline for a fresh, crisp feeling and one less cost factoring into your energy bill. Although each individual action may only save you a few bucks each year, taking these steps in tandem can subtract a substantial amount of money from your overall bill. If you have questions regarding how your energy type or usage could impact your homeowners insurance, reach out to your independent agent for answers.