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Worst Energy-Wasting Habits

November 18, 2016

American households typically use around 11,700 kWh every year, making us some of the biggest energy consumers on the planet. To put that figure in perspective, American homes use two to three times more energy than homes in Europe and around 20 times more than those in Nigeria. Our energy use is high largely because many of us are guilty of energy-wasting habits like the four below.

Falling Asleep With the TV On

A person sitting on a bed
Image via Flickr by David Boyle in DC

When you’re obsessed with a new show on Netflix, you can easily binge-watch until you drop. But falling asleep with the TV on is one energy-wasting habit that can cause power bills to soar.

Admittedly, new TVs are fairly energy-efficient units, so they don’t use a large amount of power every hour. If you regularly fall asleep in front of the TV, however, those wasted pennies add up. Older TVs also use much more power than contemporary models.

Standing in Front of an Open Fridge

How long do you stand staring at your open fridge trying to decide what will satisfy your cravings? If you’re like the average American, you’d probably be surprised to know that you spend more than 10 hours every year at your open refrigerator. An open refrigerator can’t work as efficiently as a closed one. Opening your fridge also activates its light, which consumes more power. 

Think carefully about what you want to eat before you reach the refrigerator. Then, pick your food and close the door quickly. 

Forgetting to Change or Clean Your Air Filters

Your HVAC system’s air filter has several important jobs such as removing allergens and pollutants from your home and keeping your system running effectively. However, to do these jobs well, your filter needs to be clean. Neglecting to change or clean your air filter can drive up your energy bills.

Experts suggest that HVAC systems with clean air filters run between 5 and 15 percent more efficiently. Getting into the habit of cleaning or changing your filters regularly could save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Some people clean or change their filters every month, while others perform a regular maintenance check. The best schedule for you will depend on how often you run your system, whether you have indoor pets and other factors. As a rule, check your air filter every month and clean or change it as required.

Leaving Your Air Conditioner On

You might love walking into rooms that are the perfect temperature, but leaving your air conditioner running while you’re not home is one energy-wasting habit that can cost you. Experts say that leaving your air conditioner on for eight hours while you’re at work can cost you a few hundred dollars each season.

Rather than throwing that money away, invest in a programmable air conditioner or a smart thermostat that will activate when you’re close to home.

Which of these bad habits are you guilty of committing? Breaking them now is the secret to lowering your energy bills and impact on the planet. 

Disclosure: This is a featured post

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