Home Sweet Home: Avoid These Energy-Wasting Habits

michael dinich home sweet home blog header

Originally published on Michael Dinich’s website.

We all have bad habits. It’s the human condition. Some people don’t take the proper steps in caring for their health. Others carelessly drain their savings account on frivolous purchases. But what if your bad habit didn’t only affect you – it affected the environment as well?

Do you actually pay attention to your energy bill every month? If so, you should question why you’re paying as much as you are. But most of us are comfortable paying this amount because it’s what we are accustomed to.

What if a simple look into how you utilize energy in your home meant more money in your wallet every month? Check to see if you are guilty of these bad, energy-wasting habits. Once you know how to break these habits, you can begin saving more of your hard-earned money, as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

If it’s not being used, unplug it.

Sometimes it’s just easier to leave things plugged in. However, this mentality could end up costing you an extra $38 every electric bill. If you are not using an electronic device or kitchen appliance, unplug it.

Entertainment systems, iPhone chargers, coffee makers – all of these appliances use electricity even when they are not being used. This is called phantom power because it happens unbeknownst to most homeowners, which is why many individuals don’t think to unplug something as seemingly small as an Xbox every time it’s not in use.

Yet, these devices suck up energy just by being plugged in and count as 10 percent of household energy use. You can make it even easier on yourself by using power strips, which only require the flip of a switch to turn off the power to a few sources.

If you’re not in the room, turn off the lights.

It’s obvious that all lights in your house should be turned off while you are gone for the day. But even when you’re at home, get into the habit of turning off the light every time you go from room to room.

If you only have a few dishes, hold off on cleaning them.

If cleanliness is important to you, it may be tempting to wash your dishes every time you have a few dirty plates or glasses. Hold off until you have a full load to run your dishwasher. Used daily, the energy used by your dishwasher could add $66 to your bill annually.

If you need to relax, opt for a hot shower.

There is nothing more relaxing than a hot bath after a long day. This is okay every now and then, but don’t make it a daily habit. Opt for a shower instead if you need to unwind. This switch from bath to shower could save a homeowner 15-25 percent on their energy bill.


Author: Michael Dinich

Who Is the Money Geek? I am a retirement and tax advisor. I know what you are thinking right now. “Wow! Michael that sounds super exciting! Tell me all about the thrilling world of a taxes and retirement.” And yes, I can hear the sarcasm in your voice from all the way out here. But for me, what I get to do is quite amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You see, I specialize (read: SUPERPOWER) in helping hard-working people plan for retirement and save money in taxes. Maybe I take this stuff a little too seriously I am blessed to be married to the love of my life, Elizabeth, and together, we are raising our two kids Anna (10) and Gabe who is 8. I have a bunch of cool hobbies that I don’t spend nearly enough time doing (workaholic) that include car shows (Elizabeth has a crazy cool 1954 pickup), Comic Cons, tabletop games, Star Wars (fanatic) and renewable energy. Starting to get the whole “geek” thing now, aren’t ya?

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