For many health conscious Americans, having a healthy home is just as important as having a healthy body. Across the country, electricity prices are rising, as natural resources become more limited and the demand for them increases. When you plan to include activities like exercise and meal prep on your weekly calendar, consider these steps for lowering electricity consumption, and getting better electricity prices:
- Go green with your heating and cooling. The Department of Energy estimates that the average homeowners spends about 50 percent of their electricity budgets on on heating and cooling. If you can’t upgrade to a higher-efficiency system—and even if you can—plan to make annual maintenance a priority. Maintenance keeps the equipment in good condition, so it will operate efficiently.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Another way to control heating and cooling costs, a programmable thermostat limits how often and when your HVAC equipment runs, lowering electricity costs.
- Seal your home. Cracks in your home’s exterior allow air to infiltrate the space. In the winter, that means that a lot of warm air will escape from your home through these cracks, lowering the home’s temperature, and causing the furnace to run longer cycles. Ultimately, this creates a process of unnecessarily high energy consumption, and higher energy bills.
- Get rid of energy-wasting lighting. Do you still use some of the old, inefficient incandescent lightbulbs around your home? Replace these energy-wasters with more efficient CFLs or LEDs. They’ll cost more to purchase upfront, but they last longer and use less energy.
- Consider time-of-use electricity plans. Most homeowners tend to use electricity at the same time, raising demand during “peak” hours. Electricity providers sometimes offer time-of-use plans that let you save on energy costs by choosing to conduct certain activities during "off-peak" hours, when demand for electricity is lower. As a result, you can secure a lower electricity price, too. Simply wash your clothes and run your dishwasher during these times, and save. It’s that easy!
Don’t become solely consumed with a healthy body, neglecting one of the largest consumers of energy placing a demand on our nation’s infrastructure. The things you do around your house can contribute to a healthy home, reducing energy consumption and electricity demands, and lowering your carbon footprint, too.