If you’re like most parents, you’d love to save some money on your energy bill. From heating and cooling to powering your household’s numerous electronics, modern families can rack up hundreds of dollars per month in energy costs. Thankfully, there are simple, yet effective, ways your family can save money and reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and live a greener lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more.
How Parents Can Save Energy
- Update and upgrade. If you have older appliances, you could be wasting thousands of dollars per year on energy costs. To see long-term savings, and reduce your energy consumption, consider upgrading kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, shower heads, your washer and dryer, etc. Even energy-efficient light bulbs make a difference, so do what you can, when you can.
- Go solar. When it comes to reducing energy costs, not to mention your carbon footprint, solar power can make a huge difference. Plus, solar panels are cost-effective, easy to maintain and provide clean, renewable energy for your household. And when it comes to other sources of renewable energy, talk to your energy provider about your options. Companies like ENMAX even allow customers to comparison shop, and choose the best providers and plans for their needs.
- Save energy on laundry day. Washing and drying clothes can really take a toll on your energy bill. Reduce these costs by hanging clothes to dry whenever possible, doing laundry only day per week, washing in cold water and making sure your dryer’s lint filter is properly cleaned.
- Conserve in the kitchen. Rack up savings by letting your dishes air dry (instead of using your dishwasher’s “dry” setting), using your microwave or toaster oven whenever possible (they use less energy than a conventional oven), and grilling out in the warmer months. Also, be sure to match the size of your pots to your stove’s burners; using a small pan on a large burner is an unnecessary waste of energy.
- Set your thermostat. By setting your thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer, and a few degrees cooler in the winter, you can really see some savings on your energy bill. When the weather is mild, turn off your thermostat and open the windows for fresh air.
- Make repairs. A cracked window or drafty door can cost you. Do a thorough check of your home, and make any necessary repairs.
How Kids Can Help Cut Energy Costs
Even young children can contribute to your family’s energy-saving efforts. For example, for younger kids, these tips can help:
- Make a game out of conserving energy. For example, you could reward them for turning out lights when they leave a room, have contests to see who can take the shortest showers, etc.
- Encourage more outdoor playtime. Outdoor playtime is unplugged playtime, so get your little ones outside and away from the screens. In fact, electricity-free playtime is a great way for the entire family to conserve energy, so consider weekly family fun nights with no electronics.
Older kids and teenagers should be able to handle energy-saving tasks like the following:
- Simple repairs. Older kids and teenagers can help with cleaning and replacing AC filters, caulking windowsills, installing door sweeps, etc.
- Planting trees. Trees can provide shade in the summer, which can keep your home considerably cooler. Enlist the help of older kids for this project, and be sure to plant on the sunniest side of your home.
- Unplugging. Teenagers love their electronics. Make sure they know to unplug after using, instead of leaving them in idle mode. Power strips are also helpful, as they allow you to turn off several electronics with the push of a single button.
Saving money on your energy bill isn’t as difficult as you may think. With the tips provided here, your whole family can pitch in to reduce energy costs, help protect the environment, and promote a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. Good luck on all your energy-saving efforts!