We love finding new products that can help Illinois residents lower their electric bills while lessening their impact on the environment. However, 33% of Illinois residents rent their homes and often don’t get to choose their appliances or make energy-saving renovations to their building. The good news is that there are plenty of other ways to conserve energy and save money year-round.
And for those who do own their home, installing a Smart Thermostat and giving your home a quick Energy Efficiency Makeover are great quick fixes that will continue to make a difference over time. The tips in this blog will help you actively save money and energy even after you’ve made those changes.
Whether you own, rent, or live in your parents’ basement, making energy-saving habits a part of your routine is a great way to do your part and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
1. Go Natural
Think about the energy you’re using throughout the day doing chores like dishes and laundry: do you really need to use hot water and have dry clothes and dishes in twenty minutes, or could you use cold water and let them air-dry? Also think about items you have around the house, like fans, windows, curtains and doors, that you can use for natural climate control before turning on the A/C or cranking up the furnace.
2. Change Your Habits and Conserve
Being a little more conscious about your energy use habits at home can make a big difference in your energy footprint. Turning off the lights when you leave the room sounds obvious enough, but lighting accounts for about 12% of most utility bills. Using power strips is helpful, but remembering to turn them off when not in use will get you extra savings. Last, try turning the oven off a few minutes before your food is done; it will finish cooking at the same temperature without using more electricity.
3. Maintain Maximum Efficiency
Even if you don’t have the means to buy an Energy Star rated refrigerator and freezer, you can set yours to the manufacturer-recommended settings to avoid using excess energy and defrost the freezer before ice buildup becomes ¼-inch thick. If your home has radiators, make sure they’re not blocked so the heat can distribute properly.
4. Charge Smart
One of the easiest energy-wasting habits to fall into is leaving chargers plugged in. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device isn’t connected, so remember to unplug them from the wall. If you leave your phone plugged in on your nightstand overnight, you might also want to reconsider this habit; it only takes a couple of hours to charge.
No matter what the weather is like outside, our work and recreation are powered by electricity, and there’s always something you can do to use just a little bit less.