As an energy-conscious individual, you’ll have tried many things to reduce your utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint from your residence. However, there’s always more you can do. Here are a few ideas that you probably haven’t tried, but really should!
1. Use a Pellet Stove for Heating
Heating systems make up the majority of your winter utility bills, thanks to the electricity or gas required to keep them going. A pellet stove is an excellent, eco-friendly and cost-efficient alternative.
“For most families, fuel for a pellet burning stoves costs less than the amount of electricity needed to run their home heating system,” explains eFireplaceStore.com, a top-rated ecommerce shop specializing in heating and fireplace-related products.
Besides eliminating much of the electricity used to heat a home, pellet stoves also have more eco-friendly fuel sources. “Most models utilize compressed wood pellets manufactured from what would otherwise be wasted byproducts of sawmill processing,” they say. “Other models offer the ability to burn corn, cherry pits, grass pellets, and other organic fuel.”
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about filling the fuel all day long or smelling smoke billowing from a chimney. Most pellet stoves have an overhead hopper that needs filled just once per day for all-day heat. There are also special venting options that reduce odorous smoke above your house.
2. Collect Natural Resources in Your Backyard
Chances are, you don’t use your entire backyard. You can reserve some of that space for collecting natural resources for your chores.
First of all, you can start a compost pile. With a simple compost bin (which can be purchased or made by hand) in the backyard, you can throw all of your organic waste into it and create amazing fertilizer for your lawn and garden. This not only reduces the amount of trash you produce daily, but it also eliminates your use of harsh chemicals on your lawn and garden. Plus, your garden and grass will grow better than ever!
You can also use large barrels or buckets to collect rainwater. While it won’t be clean enough to use for inside chores, you can water your lawn and garden, wash your car, and perform other outdoor chores to reduce the amount of water consumed daily.
When you consider the fact that a 10’x10′ patch of grass takes 62 gallons of water each week to keep it growing beautifully, the savings are clear!
3. Take a Specialized Approach
Generic ideas for reducing energy consumption are great for getting started, but if you want to save serious money and resources, you’ll hire a professional to audit your home’s energy use. They’ll evaluate the efficiencies and inefficiencies of your home, pointing out where you’re doing well and where you’re majorly wasting resources.
“A home energy audit should be your first step before making energy-saving home improvements, as well as before adding a renewable energy system to your home,” says the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). ” … An audit can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable.”
The DOE also explains that if money is tight, you can do a self-assessment to pinpoint problems. However, a professional audit will provide a more complete image of the potential concerns, helping you save more money and energy in the long run.
4. Unplug Everything
Most homeowners don’t realize that their electronic gadgets are soaking up electricity, even when they’re not switched on. The New York Times recently published a report, detailing several studies on residential energy consumption for devices that were turned off. They reported that nearly 25 percent of all residential energy consumption actually comes from devices that are plugged in but turned off.
This applies to pretty much everyone without them realizing it. “In 2014, 73 percent of American households had a high-speed Internet connection, which usually entails at least one modem and router,” the report said. “While neither one draws a lot of power, in most homes, they’re never switched off. The same is true of many TVs.”
The report encourages individuals to unplug their appliances when not in use. “Perhaps the simplest way to curtail energy use is to use a power strip to group appliances – TV, gaming console, powered speakers, DVD player, streaming devices – so you can turn them all off at the same time,” the report advises.
These four tips are few, but they’ll make a huge impact on your energy savings. Add them to the list of other things you’ve done around the house to reduce your utility bills and lessen your environmental impact.