Energy-Wasting HabitsWith the rise in electricity prices, it’s not surprising Americans are becoming more energy-conscious. Lots of us waste electricity in small amounts throughout the day, occasionally in ways we don’t even recognize. Small behaviors can have big costs. In some cases, they account for as much as ten percent of our household utility bills. To save money, here are eight common energy-wasting habits you ought to break as soon as possible.

Leaving Electronics in Standby Mode

Just because an electronic device is off doesn’t mean it’s powered down. A lot of modern electronics continue drawing power even when they’re not in use: phone chargers, game consoles, laptops, tablets, televisions, computer monitors, etc. Sometimes referred to as “energy vampires,” these devices have three modes: on, off, and standby. Standby uses less power, but if it’s left in that state all day, it still adds up to a significant cost. Save money by unplugging any device that’s not in use.

Standing in Front of an Open Fridge

It’s common to open your fridge when you’re hungry. And while it might not seem like you spend a long time standing there deciding what to eat, for most Americans it adds up to around ten hours a year. Refrigerators are one of the most energy-intensive appliances in your home. Maintaining a constant temperature is difficult and each cooling cycle consumes a significant amount of power. Cut your cooling costs by thinking about what you want before you open the door.

Not Changing Air Filters

Furnaces and air conditioners circulate air throughout your home using a fan housed in the motor blower. To prevent the spread of dirt, dust, and pollen, each blower is equipped with a filter that traps harmful particles. These filters will eventually become clogged and inhibit airflow, forcing the fan to run longer and harder to control the temperature inside your home. Swap your filters out every three to six months to keep your climate systems operating at peak efficiency.

Leaving Window Shades Open

Glass is a poor insulator, which is why windows are a major source of energy loss. They let in heat during summer and out during winter, driving up utility costs. To conserve energy, close your blinds on hot days to block out the sun, then open them at night to let the heat escape. On cold days, do the opposite: open your blinds during the day, then close them again at night.

Not Programming Your Thermostat

There’s nothing more wasteful than heating or cooling an empty house. Unfortunately, this is a habit people can fall into without realizing it. Homeowners often forget to lower their heating and cooling temperatures when they leave home. The easiest solution is to program your thermostat, so it knows when to start up and shut down. A smart thermostat will learn to anticipate your schedule, automatically adjusting output to maintain a comfortable environment as cheaply as possible.

Running Your Dishwasher Half-Full

Contrary to what homeowners may think, washing dishes in the dishwasher uses less water and energy than washing them by hand. However, these benefits are lost when you run a small load instead of a large one. While the dishwasher only needs a tiny amount of electricity, it needs a lot of hot water, which is significantly more expensive. Give your water heater a break by only doing the dishes when the racks are full.

Washing Clothes in Hot Water

Few appliances consume more energy than your water heater, which is why relying on it every time you wash your clothes is such a mistake. Cold water gets your clothes just as clean and is even better at dealing with certain types of stains, such as food, juice, grass, blood, and toothpaste. Switching your washing machine to cold water could lower your energy costs by as much as 500 percent per load.

Leaving Lights On

Most homeowners leave their lights on by accident while others do it on purpose, assuming they’ll be back again in a few minutes. Some leave them on to provide a sense of security and comfort. Regardless, lighting empty rooms consumes a lot of energy for no good purpose. Get into the habit of turning off the switch every time you leave a room. To make doubly sure, walk through your home before you go to bed and head out in the morning. Lights in closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and garages are easy to overlook, but show up on your power bill at the end of the month.

Falling Asleep in Front of the TV

Millions of Americans fall asleep in front of their televisions every night. Watching TV is a great way to relax, but it can also act like a white noise machine and slowly lull you to sleep. Leaving your TV on accidentally will only cost you a few cents, but if it happens every night it’ll cost you quite a bit more by the end of the year.

Save Money on Repairs with Agway

Our EnergyGuardTM program  protects your heating, cooling, and electrical systems*. It protects you from damage caused by wear and tear. When your furnace, air conditioner, or internal wiring breaks down after years of service, home insurance won’t step in to help, but we will,

When the need for a repair occurs, we draw on our network of local contractors to get a qualified technician to your house as soon as possible. We not only pay for repairs, but covered parts as well. There are no service fees or deductibles either. Contact us to start saving on repairs today!

*Coverage depends on which commodity is purchased.