Now that we are spending more time in our homes, it only makes sense that our energy bill is steadily increasing. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. Luckily there are some easy ways to increase your family’s energy efficiency while being kind to Mother Earth.

Here are a few easy ways you can start with today

1. Change your appliances.

While this may seem like an increase in costs, changing your appliances to eco-friendly models will actually lower your electric bill as soon as they are installed. This goes for dishwashers, ovens, refrigerators, furnaces, washers and dryersβ€”chances are if it is a major appliance, there is an eco-friendly version available. To justify the cost, it is a good idea to compare electricity costs before and after installation, as you are bound to see a large change. Make sure to check how much the electric rate that your electric supplier is charging in your zip code so that you can make a relevant comparison. You can also use online tools to compare carious eco-friendly models of the appliance in question to that you can be sure that you’re getting the right dryer for your needs from the supplier of your choice.

2. Seal your home.

Reduce Your Energy Bill

There are many cracks and crevices in your home, so it is important to do regular checks of your home and ensure that everything is sealed properly. Check around your foundation, fireplace, door frames, window frames and near your dryer, furnace and air conditioner vent for any cracks or gaps. Sealing these and adding additional insulation will allow your home to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and can save you as much as 10% in energy costs annually. It is also a smart idea to replace your windows about every 10 years or so to ensure the best seal possible and so that you know you have the best energy efficient window panes available.

3. Install a programmable thermostat.

Reduce Your Energy Bill

Take a minute to look at your thermostat and see how it is programmed. Most thermostats run 24 hours a day and seven days a week when this is not, in fact, necessary. A programmable thermostat can help you heat and cool your home according to your family’s habits and schedule. For example, if you know that your family will not be home every morning between 8 am and 10 am, you can program the machine to turn off automatically and save on heating and cooling costs. Or, when you are asleep, you may not need your furnace to run at full speed, so even turning it down a few degrees can add up to a lot of savings over time.

4. Make little changes.

Reduce Your Energy Bill

Being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to mean making large changes. Simple fixes around the house, such as using a wool dryer ball when doing a load of laundry can save you both time and money. Not only are reusable wool dryer balls eco-friendly by replacing the waste of single-use dryer sheets, but they can also actually speed up the drying process, which saves energy! On average, using a dryer ball can reduce the drying process by about 7% each load. So why wouldn’t you toss a few balls in? It’s pretty amazing that a simple wool ball can soak up enough moisture to lower your drying time, even when you’re running a load of laundry that’s all towels, but it really works. You’ll even notice less wrinkles in your clothes, so it’s really an all-around win.

5. Don’t open your appliances when cooking.

Reduce Your Energy Bill

Not only does opening your appliances when they’re in use cause your meal to take longer cooking, doing so can actually increase their energy production. In fact, every time you peek into your oven to check on your food, the internal temperature can drop up to 25 degrees, making your oven use much more energy to reheat to the original level again. The same goes for a crockpot and microwave, so keep them closed!

6.Unplug everything

Reduce Your Energy Bill

You may have certain electronics plugged in all the time out of habit. But doing so can cause you to run up unnecessary electric bill expenses. Go around your home and unplug everything, and remember to only plug them in when they’re in use. This way you can save energy because you may have electronics plugged in that you never use.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to living a more energy-efficient and environmentally conscious life. Both Mother Nature and your wallet will thank you.

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