LED lighting

Compared to big household appliances, light bulbs don’t seem like a big deal in terms of energy consumption. But it all adds up.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for approximately 15% of an average household’s electricity use.

To lower the lighting portion of your electricity bill, consider LED bulbs. They consume up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer.

The Department of Energy says by switching to LED lighting, the average household can save about $225 in energy costs per year.

That said, LED bulbs tend to be more expensive to buy than incandescent bulbs. To get the greatest energy savings, look for LED bulbs that are ENERGY STAR-rated.

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Seal and insulate

Air conditioning is a big part of why energy bills are high in the summer. So you don’t want that nice cool air in your house to escape — or that hot, humid summer air to enter.

You might want to consider air sealing your house and adding insulation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that by doing so, homeowners can save about 15% on heating and cooling costs, or an average of 11% on their total energy costs.

You can use caulk for cracks and openings around door and window frames. You can also try weatherstripping to seal movable components such as doors and windows.

Line dry your laundry

Some clothes require line drying because it’s more gentle to specific fibers. But the technique can also save you money.

A clothesline obviously costs a lot less than a gas or electric dryer. And it costs even less to operate because it relies on the power of sunlight — which is free.

Project Laundry List — a website that promotes the benefits of line drying — says switching to line drying can reduce your electricity bill by more than $25 per month. Plus, sunlight can work as a natural bleaching agent and disinfectant.

Washing your clothes in cold water can also lead to savings on your energy bill.

Pour your portfolio a glass of recession resistance

Fine wine is a sweet comfort in any situation — and now it can make your investment portfolio a little more comfortable, too.

Ownership in real assets like fine wine could be the diversification you need to protect your portfolio against the volatile effects of inflation and recession. High-net-worth investors have kept this secret to themselves for too long.

Now a platform called Vinovest helps everyday buyers invest in fine wines — no sommelier certification required.

Vinovest automatically selects the best wines for your portfolio based on your goals, and it tells you the best times to sell to get the best value for your wine.

About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. Prior to joining the team, he was a research analyst and editor at one of the leading financial publishing companies in North America. An avid advocate of investing for passive income, he wrote a monthly dividend stock newsletter for the better half of the past decade. Jing holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree, both from the University of Toronto.

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