Unexpected Ways To Lower Your Energy Costs

You probably know all of the common ways to reduce your energy consumption: regularly check for water leaks, keep lights off when not in use, don’t leave unused appliances plugged in, keep your HVAC filters clean.
But what about sneaky ways that you could be losing energy without even knowing it? We’ve rounded up a few of these so that you can make your home even more energy-efficient–and, in the process, save some cash.
1. Under the refrigerator. Cleaning out your refrigerator is probably a regular task in your household. But when’s the last time you cleaned under your refrigerator? Underneath your fridge is a large coil that provides the power for the unit, and over time, dust and other build-up can keep this coil from functioning at maximum efficiency. Buy a refrigerator cleaning brush, unplug the fridge and sweep the brush over the coil to clean it. And speaking of your refrigerator/freezer, you may want to consider swapping your automatic ice maker for ice trays. The ice maker can use as much as 20 percent of your fridge’s energy output, whereas ice cube trays use no extra energy.

2. Outlets and light switches. Most households have many of these small yet vital devices, which, over time, can be prone to leaks. You can buy switch plates and outlet seals that have added insulation (don’t worry, the insulation is designed to be used near electrical sources), sealing any leaks you may have.

3. Dishwasher.
Don’t worry – we’re not going to tell you to shun the dishwasher! Using a dishwasher actually cuts water usage as compared to hand-washing, although you should allow the dishes to air dry instead of using the dishwasher’s heated dry functionality.
4. Check your bills. Each month, carefully review your energy bills so that you can spot unexpected spikes in usage. You may be able to pinpoint the source of the energy usage so that you can make necessary adjustments, or you can always schedule an energy audit for a whole house check-up that may make you eligible for various credits from your energy provider.
What’s your number one energy-saving tip?
Photo: Flickr.com/photos/the_webhamster/3680849522/

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