For many homeowners with families, cutting energy costs is no easy task. Households with several different people using up various forms of energy will naturally be tougher to regulate than those with just one or two occupants, and making big changes here often requires involving the whole family’s commitment.
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, we’re always on hand when it comes to energy use, whether it’s in electrical areas, HVAC considerations or plumbing fixtures. Here are some tips we can offer to parents and families on smartly involving the entire unit in saving energy.
Your first step here should be having a conversation or group of conversations that helps educate your entire family about energy consumption, costs and the areas they can help in. Talk to them about simple basics like unplugging and turning off appliances that aren’t in use, supplementing heating or cooling with fans, or even taking shorter showers to save on water and energy use.
In addition, take the time to explain to everyone, especially children, just why this is important. Help them understand that not only are they helping save their parents some money, they’re also benefitting the environment and others around the planet.
Once everyone understands why saving energy is important, take some time to consider basic scheduling. Figure out the primary times when the home will be empty, for instance – these are opportunities to lower the thermostat during winter and save a bit on heating costs.
One piece of HVAC technology that’s vital for this area: A programmable thermostat, or perhaps even a modern smart thermostat option. These allow you to program a schedule for your heating and cooling needs – instead of having to manually lower the thermostat if you’re the last one out of the home, the system will do this for you based on your common home and away times. Smart thermostats can even be trained to detect when you are or aren’t home.
One great way to get the whole family to buy into energy savings is to use the money saved on something exciting. Tell your kids that if they reach a certain threshold of water savings for a given month, for instance, the whole family will use that money on a trip to everyone’s favorite ice cream shop. These kinds of incentives can help for families with children.
Another format some families use is the energy savings day – some do it weekly, others monthly. This is a designated day where the entire family makes a big effort to save energy at home, including limiting screen time, water usage and other electronics.
For more on how to involve the entire family in saving energy, or to learn about any of our HVAC or plumbing services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical today.