Retirement is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and enjoy time to yourself. Unless you plan to travel throughout retirement, you will likely spend a lot of your time at your home. When you spend an abundance of your time inside your home, your utility bills will probably have spikes in cost. This is very common since you will be using more energy throughout the day, such as lighting throughout your home, water, and changing the thermostat more frequently. Luckily, there are ways to save energy that does not cost an arm and a leg. Here are five ways to save energy in retirement.
1. Go solar
Solar panels have become very popular in the United States and are a fantastic way to save energy in retirement. According to Greentech Media, there were more than two million solar panel installations for homes in 2019. Solar panels collect energy from the sun and then convert that energy into electricity or heat for your home.
Solar panels do come with a cost, and they can be pricey. Luckily, there are a few options for you to play your part in going solar. A couple options are:
- Renting out your roof to the suppliers, and they install the panels for you or
- Taking out a loan through a reputable solar company. You can replace your electricity bill with a loan payment, but it can be much lower, and the panels will add to your home’s value.
Whenever you go solar, you help eliminate greenhouse gases and other toxic emissions contributing to global warming. You reduce your carbon footprint by 80% whenever you use solar panels for your home’s energy.
2. Replace lights with LEDs
Incandescent light bulbs create a lot of wasted energy. As you likely know, light bulbs produce heat. However, we typically do not use lightbulbs for warmth, as we use them for light. Therefore, the energy spent creating that heat is inefficient.
An excellent investment for inside and outside of your home is energy-efficient LED light bulbs. Although LED lights cost more than ordinary light bulbs, the investment in LED lights can result in life-long savings and utility bills in the future.
3. Conserve water
According to Water Sense, the average person wastes up to 30 gallons of water every day. There are many people who are unaware that using water requires energy. Electricity is needed to pump water through all households and businesses. So, whenever you are wasting gallons of water daily, you are using an abundance of energy.
Low-flux appliances are a great way to conserve water in your toilets, faucets, and showers. Low-flux fixtures help save water by allowing a lower flow rate of water each time you flush the toilet, turn on the sink, and shower. Other great ways to save water is by taking showers instead of baths and only running full loads of laundry in your washer.
4. Replace air filters
Did you know it is recommended to check your home’s air filters once a month? If you have a pet, you might need to change it more frequently. Many seniors forget to change their air filters, resulting in their home using more energy than needed.
According to the Department of Energy, whenever you replace dirty air filters with a new filter, you can reduce your energy consumption by 15%. Dirty air filters decrease the productivity of your home’s heating and cooling system, as it reduces the airflow throughout your home.
Set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar each month to check your air filter and see the difference in your energy bills and even health.
5. Lower thermostat
Lastly, you can save an abundance of energy by lowering your thermostat daily. According to Energy.gov, you can save up to 10% a year on your energy bill by turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours out of the day. You should especially turn down your thermostat during the summer and winter months, as it will notably benefit your utility bill.
You could consider purchasing a programmable thermostat that allows you to make your home cooler or warmer on a set schedule. Altering the temperature of your home helps reduce energy loss. When you are spending the day outside or will be gone for the day, lower your thermostat to help save energy and money.
Saving energy is more critical today than ever in history. Luckily, these five ways to save energy in retirement can help you get started today.