Looking to trim your utility bills? Its easy with a few simple steps! Once you cut your energy and water consumption, your bills will be reduced. Its a simple equation: save energy and save money.
Here are the top 10 ways to save energy at home:
1. Install a programmable thermostat. Instead of trying to remember to turn the heat down when you go to bed or leave for the day, and then back up at other times, a programmable thermostat will do this automatically. Program it to adjust the temperature about 1/2 hour before waking, or before you get home at the end of the day.
2. Lower the thermostat in the winter and raise it during summer months. With a programmable thermostat, this is easy to do! But with the change of the seasons, try keeping your home 1-2 degrees cooler over winter, or 1-2 degrees warmer during the summer. This will save heating and cooling costs significantly.
3. Reduce the hot water temperature to 120 degrees F. Use less energy to super heat your domestic water. A maximum temperature of 120 degrees is more than warm enough for bathing or cooking needs. Added bonus – you increase the safety in the home if you have small children.
4. Insulate your water heater. While you are saving money with a lower hot water temperature, make sure that the energy required to heat your water is not unnecessarily lost due to inadequate water heater insulation.
5. Wash laundry in cold water. Heating water for laundry is one of the most energy consuming activities at home. Clothes can get just as clean and fresh in a cold water wash – especially with formulated detergents and high efficiency washers. Launder in cold water and you’ll save hundreds of dollars each year!
6. Turn off unnecessary lights and unplug appliances and gadgets when not in use. This energy saving tip is so easy, it bears repeating. No need to pay for electricity you are not using, right? Flip the switches when you leave or go to bed. Power down and save up!
7. Seal air leaks and insulate HVAC ducts. Don’t pay to heat or cool the outdoors! Like leaving a door or window slightly ajar, air leaks are a major source of lost energy. If necessary, hire a professional home energy auditor to help you detect and seal leaks.
8. Install water saving showerheads and/or low-flow toilets. Save money on your water bills by cutting down usage in the bathroom. Today’s low-flow showerheads and toilets are so effective, you likely will not notice any change in your bathroom routine, other than the additional savings each month.
9. Check insulation in the attic and add more, if necessary. Make sure your home has a thick enough “blanket” to trap heat or keep cool air-conditioned air inside. As with air leaks, you can save a significant amount of money by retaining more of the heat or A/C that you are paying for!
10. Use passive solar techniques to warm and cool your home. Open your drapes in the winter to allow sunlight and warmth to flow in through the windows. Close them in the summer to block scorching rays from overheating your home. Either way, you reduce the load on your heating or A/C system, saving you money!