Many homeowners around the Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas waste a lot of energy without even realizing it. You may notice an increase in your utility bills during certain times of the year. Avoid energy waste by stopping habits that cause your household to use excess energy.

Keeping Appliances Plugged In – Leaving a cell phone charger plugged in when it’s not currently in use won’t waste a lot of energy on its own. However, when you multiply that small amount of waste times the various appliances in your home, you’ll quickly see why this is a bad habit. Unplugging appliances can help improve the overall energy efficiency in your home by 10 percent. Simplify this task by keeping only appliances plugged into a power strip. Then, you can just switch the strip off.

Taking Long, Hot Showers – It’s hard to beat the warmth and comfort from a hot shower. This habit, however, wastes a lot of energy and water. Adjust the water heater temperature setting so that it can’t go too high, helping to eliminate the temptation, for everyone in your home.

Washing Clothes In Hot Water – The majority of a washing machine’s energy is spent heating water. You can cut energy use in half by switching from hot to warm water, and reduce it even further by using cold water. Unless you are trying to remove oil or grease, cold water sufficiently cleans clothing, towels and sheets.

Using Outdated Light Bulbs – Incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient, so if you have these outdated bulbs in your home, now is the time to upgrade. While compact fluorescent bulbs s are better than incandescent bulbs, the best option is to replace them all with LED bulbs. They’re more expensive up front, but they use substantially less energy.

Keeping The Refrigerator Door Open – We’ve all been there – you can’t decide what to eat! Standing in front of an open refrigerator door wastes a lot of energy.

Falling Asleep With The TV On – Try using the sleep timer on your television so that it cuts off after you’ve fallen asleep and no longer need the noise.

Leaving Fans On In Empty Rooms –  Remember, fans cool people, not rooms.

Not Using A Programmable Thermostat – With a manual thermostat, you have to remember to adjust the temperature up and down depending on the time of day and whether people will be home or not. Programmable thermostats take the need to remember out of the equation and help save energy when the air doesn’t need to be running.

Running the HVAC with Dirty Ducts – Over time, the ducts that move cool and warm air from the HVAC system to your vents get clogged with dust, pet hair, pollen, dander, and other debris. Dirty ducts require the system to work a lot harder to heat or cool and move the air, and you’ll also suffer from poor indoor air quality. Get your ducts cleaned by an HVAC professional about once a year to combat this problem.

Learn more about duct cleaning and improved energy efficiency by calling 6 & Fix Heating & Cooling professionals.