How to Make Your Home More Energy-Smart for Winter
As the colder weather settles in, many of us find ourselves spending a lot more time indoors. That means it might be time to start thinking about using energy more efficiently and implementing some energy-saving tools and technology into our homes. Here are a few ways to take control of your energy usage and make some smart changes around the house.
Keep track of your energy use
A good first step is to accurately figure out how much energy your home is using. You can do this with a home energy monitor like Sense, 1 which installs in your electrical panel and collects valuable data about your home’s energy use (such as your household appliances).
You can view this data in real-time via an app – cool, right?
You can also opt to plug your information into an online tool, install a simple base-level electricity usage monitor, or choose from a range of apps that will help you keep track of your energy use. This will lend insight into what you’re doing right and what you may need to work on.
Set light timers
It’s getting dark a lot earlier these days, which means people are switching on the lights earlier. Light timers can be a great way to automate your lights and conserve energy.
This will ensure your lights turn on at the right time each day (which can be especially useful if you don’t want to come home to a dark house). And they’ll turn off when you want them to each night – saving you from potentially forgetting to turn them off and wasting unnecessary money on electricity.
Another neat option is smart light bulbs, which allow you to control the bulb from an app 2 and set automated schedules. And, of course, make sure you’ve converted to LED lighting – a highly energy-efficient lighting technology that uses at least 75% less energy. 3
Set your thermostat on a timer
Another way to reduce your energy usage is by setting your thermostat on a timer. This will let you program it to run at a warm, comfortable temperature when you are home and turn down to a cooler temperature when you’re out of the house and asleep at night (sleeping in a cold room is better for your health 4, after all!).
You can also treat yourself to a smart thermostat like the ever-popular Nest, 5 which can help you save money on heating and cooling bills. It also offers some cool features like controlling the temperature of your home through an app.
Consider your appliances
This may also be a good time to check in on your appliances and make sure they’re not guzzling up more energy than they should be. Some common culprits can include:
- Washing and drying machines
- Heating/Cooling systems
If your appliances are older and eating up your energy, it may be worth it, in the long run, to think about replacing them with energy-efficient alternatives. Energy Star certified products, for example, can help you save money4 on operating costs by reducing energy use.
You can also make small changes, like washing your clothes on cold and hanging them on a line to dry sometimes instead of using the dryer.
The good news is, there are several things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. And every step you take – big or small – will get you a little closer to smart home status. And who doesn’t want that?
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