The new year is a great time to do a home energy evaluation. Are you looking for ways to cut heating and electric bills this winter? Our simple tips can help you lower your monthly utility bills this year.
Lighting your home accounts for 10% of your electric bill. Using energy-efficient light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, dimmers and timers can make a difference in your monthly bill.
Appliances & Electronics
Decrease energy use by unplugging items in your home such as laptops, chargers and coffee makers when not in use. You can estimate the cost of your home’s appliance and electronics and invest in new more-energy efficient products. Many manufacturers offer smart appliances that can be connected to management systems that help to shift electricity usage during off-peak hours.
Check for any drafts along baseboards and where the wall meets the ceiling. Cold air could also be getting in through windows, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures. To avoid heated air from seeping out of your home, find and plug up leaks with caulking or weather stripping.
There are several areas of your home that might be lacking adequate insulation. Check the following areas to see if you need to make any insulation improvements:
- Check that your attic hatch is closed tightly and apply weather stripping if needed.
- Seal any openings in your attic. Check around pipes, ductwork, chimneys and electrical boxes.
- Line your attic floor with insulation.
- Hire a professional to do a thermographic inspection to check the wall insulation levels.
Consider looking into the following plumbing updates to help prevent burst pipes and lower insurance premiums:
- Low flow faucets and showerheads can save up to 8 gallons of water per minute.
- According to Energy Star, water heaters are the second-highest source of energy is in the home. Investing in an energy-efficient water heater uses less energy than standard models. This will help homeowners save money on their utility bills while helping protect the climate.
Adjust the Thermostat at Night
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save about 10 percent per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours. It might also be worth considering a programmable thermostat. It allows much better control over where the heating is set and always ‘remembers’ to turn down the heat at night. According to the EPA, an investment in a programmable thermostat can save $180 a year.
Keep Your Furnace Clean
Keeping your furnace and vents properly maintained will reduce energy consumption and help you save. Check your furnace filter monthly and replace it when it gets dirty.
Get a Humidifier
The air inside your home can become very dry. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature.
Little changes can go a long way. Making your home more energy-efficient can significantly impact your wallet and the planet. Please contact us with any questions.