Most homeowners will admit that they could do better when it comes to saving energy in their homes. Of course, the best part about using less energy is the lower utility bills. Many homeowners actually don’t recognize all the different ways that they are wasting energy on a daily basis. Here are three energy wasting habits that you should stop now.

Washing Clothes in Hot Water

Washing clothes in hot water is a habit that you should avoid. Most people use hot water to clean clothes with tough stains, but it is not always necessary. You might as well try washing a load with cold water. There is a good chance that you won’t see any difference in the cleanliness of the batch.

Energy Star estimates that 90 percent of energy used to do a load of laundry goes to heating the water. If you are unnecessarily washing your clothes in hot water, ¬†you’ll start to see a dramatic decrease in your energy bill by simply stopping this bad habit.

Leaving Phones and Laptops Plugged in Overnight

There is nothing worse than starting your day with a dead cell phone or laptop. However, this does not mean you need to keep them plugged in overnight. If you unplug your cell phone right before going to bed, it will lose very little battery power while you sleep. You can always top off the battery with a quick charge in the morning or in your car on the way to work.

Just remember that you phone will never charge higher than 100%, so leaving it plugged in overnight is certainly a habit that you need to break.

Failing to Regularly Change the Furnace Filter

10523935095_390d1277d3

Image via Flickr by Michael Sheehan

If your home has central air, the furnace filter has a huge part in both the heating and cooling of your home. Some people only associate the furnace with the heater, but it is also part of the AC system. So, it obviously needs constant maintenance if you want to run an efficient HVAC system.

Changing your filter is a super easy job that will only take a few minutes. Filters cost less than $30, and you don’t need any tools to quickly replace an old filter. But many people still fail to do it as often as suggested. Some HVAC experts will tell you to change your filter every few months. This might be more often than necessary if you live in a mild climate and only use your heat or AC occasionally. The best solution is to just check your filter every two or three months. If it looks dirty, change it.

If you have an old furnace that is not up to current energy-saving standards, you might want to go one step further and invest in a new furnace. At the very least you can have an HVAC tech come to your home to decide if you need a new unit or tell you ways that you could make the unit more energy-efficient.