Incandescent Bulbs:Using incandescent light bulbs is both hard on the environment and your wallet. Not only are incandescents more expensive up-front (on average, incandescents cost buyers $12.86 more than a CFL bulb), but contribute to a large waste of household income over time. According to Popular Mechanics magazine, if the average United States household (which has, on average, 45 light bulbs) were to switch completely to CFLs, the household would save $180 annually on power. In addition to the fiscal cost associated with incandescent bulbs, they also waste an incredible amount of energy and subsequently, put a lot of stress on the environment. Simply put, the more energy used, the more electricity used and the more carbon and other pollutants released into the atmosphere. All in all, switching to CFL bulbs is a great way to stay green- in your pocket and the world you live in.
Letting “Energy Vampires” Sink Their Teeth into You: Simply put, “energy vampires” are electronics that continue to use energy even when not being used. This includes: air conditioners, phone/laptop chargers, computer displays, fax machines, modems, furnaces, phones, set-top boxes, printers, VCR’s, you name it. This might seem like a small expenditure of energy, but can add up over time. For example: a cable box left on (but not in use) for a year, would cost the owner an extra $38 on their electric bill. Multiply this by all the devices you’re leaving on, and it’s both a substantial chunk of change, and energy.
Not Programming Your Thermostat: Way too many homeowners leave their thermostat temperature to its regular settings while away. There’s no reason for an empty house to have an optimal temperature and turning the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours could reduce your heating bills by 5 to 15 percent a year. As a rule of thumb, set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you’re home and to 58 when you’re away in the winter and 78 and 88 degrees, respectively, in the summer. This little change will barely affect your comfortability and drastically impact your financial and environmental savings.
Forgetting to Change out Air Filters:This may seem minute, but regularly changing the air filters in your home is incredibly important and advantageous. When your air filter is dirty, the blower fan in the HVAC system has to work harder to push air, which draws more energy, leading to higher bills. It’s also more likely to break down from all the strain; in fact, clogged air filters are the number one reason for HVAC system failure. Replacing a HVAC system is astronomically expensive, and completely avoidable, with proper air filter care and maintenance.
Leaving the Refrigerator Door Open: Studies have shown that people spend about 10.4 hours a year looking at an open fridge. This indecision doesn’t just cut into your time, however. It also wastes large amounts of energy and money. According to Home Energy Magazine, keeping the fridge door open accounts for 7 percent of the appliance’s energy use. A study conducted by the University of Florida estimated that careless fridge behavior wastes, on average, 50 to 120 kWh a year. Assuming the average price of electricity per kWh in the U.S. is 12 cents, you could save about 15 bucks just for being a little more decisive about your lunch!