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Homesteading

18 Energy-Saving Hacks for the Homestead

Lessen your dependence on the grid.

The rising costs of energy and the reliance on the electric grid give homesteaders reasons to look for ways to save energy on the homestead by changing their energy usage.

According to the Utility Dive, “Consumers paid 14.3% more for electricity last year on average, than in 2021, more than double the overall 6.5% rise in prices. […] Electricity to heat homes is expected to cost 10.2% more this winter over last year, or $1,359 for the season.”

Fortunately, there are several ways to save energy on the homestead that will lower utility bills and lessen dependence on the grid.

1. Invest in Renewable Energy

If you truly want to live off-grid, you need to invest in renewable energy.

There are several different options for renewable energy for homesteaders.

  • Solar power: Solar power relies on solar panels to turn energy from the sun into electricity.
  • Wind power: Wind flow is used to generate electricity using wind turbines.
  • Hydroelectric power: Homesteads with running water sources, such as streams, use water flow to generate electricity.

Switching to renewable energy requires upfront costs, but it enables you to generate your own energy without relying on utility services, saving you a huge amount of money in the long run. 

Man caulking the outside of his windows to help save energy.

2. Do Some Caulking

A quick and easy way to improve your homestead’s energy usage is to caulk any areas where heat escapes the home.

Unfortunately, you can’t just caulk once and let it go.

You should routinely check your home for leaks or drafts and caulk as needed. 

3. Apply Weatherstripping

Doors can be a major energy drain.

An inexpensive fix is to apply weatherstripping to the doors to say goodbye to energy-draining spaces. 

4. Swap to LED Bulbs

If you haven’t made the swap to LED bulbs, you need to asap.

The Self-Sufficient Home Acre explains, “Over a hundred years later, a variation of Edison’s incandescent bulb remains the standard. That’s a shame because only 10% of the energy that goes into an incandescent light bulb is converted into light; 90% is wasted as heat.”

Modern LED bulbs do away with this waste and make lighting much more efficient and last significantly longer.

5. Add Dimmer Switches

Another easy way to lessen your energy usage is to use less light.

By installing dimmer switches, you can control the amount of electricity to the bulb. 

6. Air-Dry Clothes

According to Major Energy, “When the EPA looked at various household appliances, the clothes dryer was the biggest energy hog. That’s right. The average clothes dryer uses more electricity than the average refrigerator.”

With this in mind, make the switch from using a clothes dryer to hanging clothes from a line and letting them air dry. 

7. Change Air Filters

The dirtier your air filters are, the harder your HVAC system has to work.

The harder your HVAC system has to work, the more energy you use and money you spend.

Make a point to change your air filters regularly to save energy on the homestead.

A family room with a ceiling fan on the ceiling.

8. Run Fans the Right Way

Homesteaders should make good use of their ceiling fans.

But that doesn’t mean just turning them on before lowering the thermostat.

To make your fans run the most efficiently, you need to run them according to the seasons.

In summer, the blades of the ceiling fans should run counterclockwise, which will push the air downward for cool air.

In winter, the blades should be reversed, which will help the warm air spread more evenly.

These changes can save a good amount on heating and cooling costs.

9. Add Insulation

One of the best ways to save energy on the homestead is to invest in insulation.

When your home is insulated well, it will stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

As a result, you won’t have to use as much energy or spend as much money maintaining a comfortable temperature. 

10. Install a Wood-Burning Stove

A wood-burning stove is an excellent choice to save energy on the homestead.

A wood-burning stove is an efficient means of heating your home using natural resources, such as logs and wood scraps.

Plus, many wood-burning stoves can be used for cooking. 

11. Buy Energy-Star Rated Appliances

When you shop for appliances for your homestead, look for the Energy Star-rated logo.

These appliances use much less energy than their counterparts. While switching appliances will cost you now, you will save money over time. 

12. Choose Manual Over Electric-Powered

If we’re honest, there are probably many tools in our homes that operate using electricity when their manual alternatives work just as well or better. 

Sometimes we opt for the convenience of electric-powered tools, but we can save energy on the homestead by sticking to the original, manual tools.

For example, do you need an electric-powered juicer or a can opener? Or is it just as effective to use a manual juicer or can opener?

Person putting rechargeable batteries into a flashlight.

13. Use Rechargeable Batteries

Keep rechargeable batteries on hand for small devices.

This makes it easy to operate these small devices without having to plug them into the power supply. 

You can even charge them using solar power chargers. 

14. Build a Root Cellar

As you start to grow and preserve your own food, you need somewhere to store it.

One way to save money on the homestead when it comes to storing food is to build a root cellar.

Root cellars use the natural cooling properties of the earth to preserve food.

[Related Read: Why Every Homesteader Needs a Root Cellar]

15. Utilize Eco Landscaping

Eco landscaping means landscaping around your home to be energy efficient.

The US Department of Energy explains, “A well-placed tree, shrub, or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce your energy bills. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses.”

16. Switch to a Tankless Water Heater

Another way to save energy on the homestead is to switch from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater.

Unlike traditional water heaters which store hot water in a large tank, a tankless water heater just heats water as it is needed.

17. Handwash Dishes

When given the choice between using energy to run the dishwasher or washing dishes by hand, choose to wash dishes by hand.

18. Run Appliances Wisely

When you must run appliances, such as the dishwasher or washing machine, run them wisely.

For example, only run them when you have a full load and run them during the cooler times of the day.

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