Saving energy at home is important not only for reducing your utility bills, but also for helping the environment. While there are many conventional tips for saving energy like turning off lights and lowering your thermostat, here are 7 unconventional ways I have found to save even more energy in my home:
1. Line Dry Your Clothes
Using a clothes dryer is one of the biggest energy drains in most homes. Instead of drying your clothes in the dryer, hang them on a clothesline or drying rack to air dry. This allows clothes to dry for free using only the sun and wind.
I have found that line drying clothes saves me around $100 per year on electricity. It also helps clothes last longer since the heat from dryers can damage fabrics over time. As an added bonus, clothes dried outside often smell extra fresh!
2. Seal Air Leaks
Finding and sealing air leaks around windows, doors, pipes and other openings can have a big impact on your energy use. I used a DIY spray foam sealant kit to seal all the hidden cracks and gaps around my home.
Sealing these leaks helped reduce drafts and improved my home’s insulation. I found I could turn down my thermostat more without feeling cold. Sealing air leaks can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30% per year.
3. Install Smart Power Strips
Many appliances and electronics continue drawing a small amount of power even when turned off. These “vampire loads” can be reduced by using smart power strips.
I installed these special power strips that can sense when a device is in standby mode. When my TV is turned off, the strip cuts power to prevent the vampire load. This has reduced my home’s standby power consumption by around 10-15%.
4. Switch To LED Light Bulbs
Replacing traditional incandescent or CFL bulbs with LED lighting can trim your lighting energy use by as much as 80%. While LED bulbs cost more upfront, they last much longer and provide brighter light using far less energy.
I replaced all the bulbs in my most-used rooms with LEDs. Not only did this reduce energy use, but I also save time from not having to change light bulbs as often!
5. Install Window Film
Applying a reflective film to your windows helps reduce heat gain from sunlight in the summer. I installed solar window films on my south-facing windows that are hit with the most sun.
This special film reflects back over half of the incoming solar energy to decrease heat buildup. Keeping my home cooler in summer means my A/C doesn’t have to work as hard.
6. Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
Having gaps around doors and windows allows heated or cooled air to escape from your home. I weatherstripped all my exterior doors and windows to seal these gaps.
This simple DIY upgrade helps keep indoor air in during summer and winter. Reducing air leakage makes heating and cooling systems more efficient. I used adhesive-backed foam strips that were easy to install and made a noticeable difference.
7. Insulate Hot Water Pipes
Insulating hot water pipes prevents wasting energy by reducing heat loss as water travels to faucets and showers. I wrapped all accessible hot water pipes with easy-to-install foam pipe insulation.
This added insulation improved my water heating efficiency by around 4-5%. It also provided the bonus of faster hot water delivery to faucets far from my water heater.
Trying these unconventional tips has helped me maximize my home’s energy efficiency. I hope these out-of-the-box ideas inspire you to find new ways to save energy too! Let me know if you have any other unique tricks for reducing your utility bills.