Reduction of energy use is important as we all work to limit the production of greenhouse gases and mitigate the effects of global warming. We can and should do what we can as individuals to help reduce our carbon footprint best of our abilities. This week, we’re outlining the five easiest ways to reduce your energy usage this year. Hopefully you’ll feel better about your energy consumption and see lower energy costs throughout 2019 by implementing a few of these changes to your routine.

Cook Smarter
Cooking is one of the most energy-consuming things we do on a regular basis. Because it’s also necessary, there are a few things you can do to lessen your energy consumption while you cook.

First, think about cooking as a seasonal activity. During fall and winter, try to utilize the oven as much as possible. The heat generated will help warm up the house, especially if you open the oven door when you’re finished. During spring and summer do the opposite. Try to cook using the stovetop, a crockpot, an outdoor grill or prepare cold meals like sub sandwiches and salads to reduce the amount of heat you generate indoors.

When you’re using the oven, try to cook multiple things at once. Since you’re heating up the whole oven anyway, you may as well cook as many things as possible at once to save energy. In a similar vein, try to keep the door closed as much as possible while using your oven. Each time you open the oven door the interior temperature can drop as much as 25 degrees causing your oven to work overtime as it heats back up to the correct temperature.

Finally, use the correct burner when using your stovetop. Heating large pots on large burners and small pots on small burners ensures you’re only using the energy you need. Putting a small pot on a big burner wastes energy, while putting a large pot on a small burner means the process will take longer and use more energy than if you had chosen the larger burner.
Use the big burner for big pots and the small burner for small pots to ensure you’re only using the energy you need.

Rearrange your Furniture
Where you place your furniture in your home can make a huge difference in the way energy is used. Before deciding on the setup of your home, make a mental note of where all the vents are located. Try to strategically place furniture so no vents are blocked. That way, both heat and cold air can circulate through your home unencumbered.

For the same reason, you’ll want to keep your windows free and clear. Sunshine streaming through your windows is a cheap and effective way to help heat your home in the winter during the daytime. At night and during the summer, thick curtains will act as an insulator, either by keeping out the cold of a winter night or blocking the hot summer sun during the day.

Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers Help
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can vastly change the temperature in your home. By turning on a humidifier during winter, you’ll save yourself from a dry nose and warm up your house at the same time. Moist air hangs onto heat longer than dry air, so turning on a humidifier is ideal to beat the winter chills.

Dehumidifiers are great during humid Nebraska summers when you just can’t seem to escape the heat. It’ll suck the moisture right out of the air, making your home easier to cool. Plus, you can use the water for houseplants and your garden, so you’ll reduce your water waste as well. Even though you’re technically running another appliance­ (which seems like it would add to your energy use), they improve the performance of heating and air conditioning units so much that you’re actually reducing your overall energy consumption. Just make sure to turn these devices off when they’re not needed.

Save with Solar
One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill is by utilizing the free power source we all have access to every day: the sun! Installing solar panels on your home can drastically cut energy costs. In fact, solar powered homes sometimes produce more energy than they can use on sunny days. In those instances, your electric company could actually pay you to put your extra energy back on the grid for others to use. It doesn’t take any extra work, and you’ll help cut down your consumption of traditional energy sources which lead to global warming (e.g. coal, natural gas).

Reverse the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans
Did you know that there’s a switch on your ceiling fan that’ll let you to reverse its direction? That’s because the way your fan pushes or pulls the air in a room affects the temperature greatly. Counter-clockwise spinning will pull hot air up and out of the way, so set your fan to spin that direction during the summer. When it’s cold, you’ll want to reverse the fan so it spins clockwise at a low setting to gently push hot air back down as it rises, cutting the energy needed to heat the house.

Which of these energy cutting tactics will you try this year? If you’re interested in solar power and what it can do for your home, call J-Tech Solar today! We’d love to help you get started on your solar journey.