6 Common Energy Wasters That Cost You More Than $770/Year

October 23, 2014

When most people think about “saving the planet” or reducing their energy costs, they think of big things like buying a hybrid car or installing home solar panels.

But you don’t have to spend a lot of money to save a lot of energy and help the planet. 
 
To prove it, we’ve created a list of 6 common energy wasters that you can address right now to save you more than $770/year. 

1) Leaving your computer on and your phone charger plugged in

Computers on standby still use energy. And many chargers continue to draw electricity even though they aren’t actually charging anything. 
 
This is called “vampire energy use” and ENERGY STAR estimates that it’s costing the U.S. roughly $10 billion in energy costs.
 
Turn off your computer at night and unplug any chargers when they aren’t actually charging something.
 
Potential savings: $100/year
Source: ENERGY STAR

2) Using incandescent lighting

Incandescent light bulbs waste as much as 90% of the energy they consume.

LED’s and CFLs, on the other hand, use as little as 1/10th of the energy as incandescents. Plus, they last longer. So you’ll put less waste in landfills.
 
Possible savings: $240/year (40 ENERGY STAR certified bulbs at $6/bulb per year)
Source: ENERGY STAR

3) Washing your clothes in hot water

Most loads of laundry don’t need to be washed in hot water, and a washing machine can use as much as 40 gallons of hot water per load. Consider using the “warm” or “cold” settings instead. 

Possible savings: $214/year
Source: Christian Science Monitor

4) Not setting your thermostat back when you’re gone

If your house is empty every day for 8 hours or more (while you’re at work and the kids are at school), you should be using a programmable thermostat to save energy. By setting the temperature back while you’re gone, you can save some serious cash.
 
Possible savings: $180/year
Source: ENERGY STAR

5) Taking long showers

Taking long, steaming showers can feel great. But it also wastes energy. Shaving just 2 minutes off your shower can conserve as much as 10 gallons per shower! And that’s less water that your water heater has to heat. 

Possible savings: $36 and over 3,500 gallons of water per year, per person
(Based on 1 shower per day and 10 gallons of water saved, at a cost of $.02/gallon to heat the water.)

6) Not replacing your air filters

Your heating and cooling system’s air filters protect it from dirt and debris in the air. But if you don’t change the filter regularly, the dirty filter will cost you money. Dirty filters restrict airflow, which makes your system run longer and harder. 

Possible savings: Varies

Looking for more ways to save energy?

Heating and cooling your home makes up almost half of your energy costs. We can help you reduce those through a variety of ways, including programmable thermostats, regular maintenance, new efficient AC and heating systems, solar panels, and more.
 
Contact us today to learn more.
 
Santa Fe Air serves the heating and air conditioning needs of homeowners throughout the Kansas City area.