words Al Woods
If you scroll through social media for eco-friendly home trends, you’re probably sick of being bombarded with luxury greenhouses and expensive “smart home” setups.
Contrary to what you might believe, going green can be affordable and easy! Check out these cheap home hacks that will reduce your power bill AND your household’s footprint.
1. Use a Timer for ALL Water Use
Many people would be surprised how much water they use for regular activities like:
- Taking a shower
- Doing the dishes
- Watering the lawn
- Brushing their teeth
Finding out is as simple as setting a stopwatch. Timing your water use can reduce your utility bill by hundreds of dollars a year.
The average person spends at least 7 minutes in the shower, when we really only need 2 or 3 minutes to get the job done. Running the tap while you brush your teeth can add 8 gallons (or more!) to your daily water consumption.
Rather than singing a song or guessing to keep time, using a timer will help you train your body’s internal clock while preventing unnecessary water waste.
2. Observe Peak Hours
Running your air conditioning unit or heater during peak hours could be adding more than you think to your monthly power bill.
Depending on where you live and the climate in your area, peak hours can vary. You can contact your utility service provider to find out the exact times.
Whenever possible, avoid running appliances and devices during these times. This will reduce your bill, as well as your impact on the environment, by preventing surge usage.
3. Recycle Bath Water
While we wouldn’t recommend using your bath time leftovers to drink or cook with, there are a variety of better alternatives to your tub’s drain.
If you have small children in your household, you’ve probably already realized how much water gets used during bath time.
A standard bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water. Rather than letting it go to waste, you can use it for other household purposes.
Reallocating excess water to other parts of the house, such as your garden or pop-up basketball hoop, can help you save a considerable amount on water costs.
4. Request an Energy Audit
Many Americans have no idea how much energy their home is using. Even so, they still have to deal with sky-high utility fees.
Performing a home energy audit is a simple and fast way to measure and assess your energy usage.
This helpful service tells you how efficient your home’s energy use is, which can help you determine areas for improvement.
Being an informed homeowner is the first step to reducing your household’s energy consumption and impact.
5. Skip the Dryer
Clothes dryers are some of the most inefficient appliances on the market today. The average unit uses 3000 watts.
Even though many brands are starting to prioritize the impact of their machines, cutting them out of your routine completely is an effective way to lower your power bill.
Instead, opt to line or flat-dry your clothes. Not only will this save you money, but your laundry will be crisp and fresh. Line drying can also extend the lifetime of your garments but limiting wear and tear.
6. Install Black-Out Curtains
Opaque curtains are for more than added privacy. They can also dramatically reduce your energy bill.
Using black-out curtains helps to keep the heat of the sun out, helping your cooling appliances work more efficiently.
As a bonus, thick drapes can also act as insulation in the colder months.
Building a green household starts with making conscious decisions throughout the day. With just a few small changes, you can greatly reduce your power bill and your family’s carbon footprint.