Energy Saving Ideas

Saving money on home energy bills doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. According to the home warranty technicians at TotalProtect®, homeowners often overlook many easy ways to reduce their energy bills. Most suggestions simply require a few changes to everyday habits.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the typical family spends $1,900* of their hard-earned money each year on home energy bills, including energy that is needlessly wasted. If you could shave a mere 10-15% off that total by being more energy-efficient, you would pocket several hundred dollars more in extra income! That means you could treat your family to a few more dinners out or pay off other household bills.

TotalProtect home warranty experts recommend starting small. Focus on those things you can change easily and affordably to become more energy-efficient:

  • Use power strips for your electronics:  Every TV, DVD player, Blu-ray, gaming console and other electronic item that is now plugged into an outlet consumes costly energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week…even when you turn them off. Why pay to power them unless you are using the items? Power strips cost very little and allow you to connect all your components. One simple switch turns everything off when you go to work each morning or to sleep each night.
  • Don't leave chargers plugged in overnight:  Most of today's phones, MP3 players and other devices charge within an hour or two. Yet people often leave devices in chargers plugged for 8, 10 or more hours. That is wasting your energy and money.
  • Turn out the lights -- every time!  This seems very obvious, but many of us are still guilty of this energy-wasting habit. We multi-task constantly…moving from bedroom to kitchen to utility room, with lights on everywhere. Or leave a brightly-lit room thinking we'll return momentarily, but get caught up doing something else. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 11% of the average household budget is spent on lighting. While energy-efficient and lower-wattage bulbs help, nothing beats the obvious: shut off lights every time you leave.

Big energy savings also come from home systems and appliances that are in good working condition and operating efficiently. Download the TotalProtect 103-point home maintenance checklist to see the parts and connections that should be inspected on your plumbing, appliances, air conditioning, heating and electrical systems throughout the year. Systems that operate efficiently use less energy than those that do not. It can make a big difference in your monthly power bill. Even more importantly, the TotalProtect warranty plan safeguards you against thousands of dollars in potential costs from repairs and replacements when your major home systems or appliances experience a mechanical failure.

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The information in this article is intended for the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are intended to indicate coverage by our home warranty or service plans. Please review your contract carefully to understand what your product coverage entails.

*Household energy costs and percentages are courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy's published "Energy Savers Booklet" downloadable from the energy.gov website.

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