Ways To Cut Energy Costs Around The Home
Home energy bills can feel like a catch-22. If you want to be comfortable, your bill goes up. If you want to save money, you have to make sacrifices. It does not have to be this way. It only takes a few, painless changes to stay comfy while keeping more cash in your wallet.
Get An Energy Audit
If your home is not air tight, you could be leaking money out of your walls and not even know it. Getting a home energy audit through your local electric company will tell you. A thorough audit will reveal things like areas with inadequate insulation, air leaks around fixtures and furnace fuel leaks.
Ceiling fans are not just for lazy summer days. By maximizing air circulation, fans make your home’s heating and air conditioning more efficient year-round. Make sure that your fan blades are turning the appropriate direction. In the summer, counter-clockwise turning draws hot air up and away. In the winter, clockwise pushes hot air down into your rooms. Look for a control switch on the bottom of your fixture to reverse directions.
Upgrade Window Coverings
We all love to let in the sun, but up to 22% of home energy losses are the direct result of windows. Energy efficient drapes, blinds and shutters will make a big difference inside. When you want to enjoy your view, exterior coverings will help. Install window screens designed to reflect sunlight and easy to install shutters outside to block excess light. Window coverings look great and add home value, too.
Stop washing your money away. Only washing full loads of laundry saves both water and energy. Resist packing things in too tightly, though. Your dryer will work more efficiently if air can flow freely around your tumbling clothes. A good rule of thumb is to only fill your washing machine about three-quarters of the way.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
According to the EPA, raising or lowering the temperature in your home by a single degree will save 3% or more on your monthly bill. A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts to reduce energy consumption while no one is home. Once it is set up, all you have to do is remember to adjust your temperature settings based on the season.