power-stripSaving energy and money sounds like a great idea. However, it can feel like a huge undertaking to change the way you and your family operate on a day-to-day basis.

You don’t need to change your entire routine to embrace a greener lifestyle. There are changes you can make right now to get on a more energy-efficient path that benefits both you and the planet. All it takes is a little know-how and commitment. You’re closer to creating a sustainable house than you think.

Apply these tips to create a greener, more efficient home:

1. Turn Off Electronics You’re Not Using

It sounds simple, but look around you. Are there any electronics plugged in that don’t need to be? Are there lights on when nobody’s in the room? Do you leave unused appliances plugged in just so you don’t have to plug them in (toasters, blenders, etc.)? Even if an electronic item is turned off, it still uses tiny amounts of energy, slowly wasted over time.

2. Optimize Natural Light

If you’re lucky enough to have ample windows in your home, make use of that natural light. Swapping out heavy curtains or blinds for a gauzy film is a great way to not just lower your electricity bill but also improve the atmosphere of your home. Ask a photographer and you’ll be told that nothing compares to natural light. During the dark winter months here in Portland, making the most of daylight is vital to not just ambience but health and well-being.

3. Hang Dry Clothing and Ditch the Dryer

Your dryer is convenient, but can degrade clothes over time if used too frequently. From shrinking to pilling, a dryer sucks up energy and abuses delicate fibers. Whenever possible, hang dry clothes. The sun actually does a better job of disinfecting materials than any detergent, and on rainy, winter days, indoor dryer racks are a great option.

However, keep in mind that, when you hang clothes to dry in your home, moisture evaporates into your space and can potentially cause dampness issues or even mold and mildew. Our team at Prairie Electric is happy to help you install a humidity-sensing fan that can pull moisture out of your home to prevent contamination.

4. Keep Temperatures Moderate

This goes for the heat and A/C in your home as well as your fridge. It takes a lot of energy to keep your home warm, so layering clothing when you’re at home can reduce the need for extreme temperature control.

5. Get Regular Maintenance Checks

All of your appliances require annual or bi-annual checks to make sure they’re in tip-top shape. If they’re not, you may be wasting electricity without noticing it. Plus, these inspections help prevent fire hazards and help you spot red flags before they get out of control.

Saving electricity doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Your daily habits are the biggest driving force behind how much energy you consume. Lower your consumption in small ways each day and your wallet – and the planet – will thank you.