The cold months are here! Finding ways to cut your utility bills doesn’t have to be hard. Making some simple choices can make a big impact on your bills – Saving energy, saving resources, saving money!
Tip #1: Turn Down Your Thermostat
Adjust the temperature on your thermostat, turning down your thermostat by two degrees and wearing a sweater you can save an average of $200 per year on your energy bills. If you set you thermostat down during sleeping hours to 10° to 15° for eight hours, you can save around 10% of your heating bills. A programmable thermostat can help you maximize your energy saving.
Tip #2: Save time and money – Use your Dishwasher
Dishwashers are more energy and water efficient when full – ensure your dishwasher is filled before turning it on. Researchers have also found the machines consistently do a better job— and use less water—than hand-washing. That is great news for the person who washes the dishes in your house!
Tip # 3: You Can Still Enjoy Your Hot Shower
Insulating your hot water tank and setting the thermostat two degrees lower can save energy and you will never noticed the different. If you set the thermostat a little lower to the warm setting of 120°F you will save over $150 a year because your water heating accounts for 18% of the energy consumed in a home. There will be a drastic effect on your bill – save energy, save money and avoid scalding your hands.
Tip #4: Clean Heat.
Cleaning your furnace filter every month can increase its efficiency by 50 percent. We strongly recommend you scheduling your yearly maintenance to keep you system running at peak efficiency. It’s never too late to call for an appointment. Keeping your furnace maintained will lower your heating bills and extend the life of your furnace.
Tip #6: Time it right.
Install a timer on your water heater and furnace to turn it off at night and back on just before you wake up in the morning. Few people realize that waiting to do electricity-heavy activities (such as laundry or showering) before 7 am and after 10 pm can hugely reduce your energy requirements and costs.
Tip #7: Be Caulk-y.
Before you feel the full force of winter, weatherproof your home. Caulk any crack to get rid of those uncomfortable draft and stop the heat – and money – from flowing out of your home. Add caulking or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows. If you have older windows using heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on the frame during the cold winter months creates a tight seal to help reduce cold air from infiltrating your home.
Tip #8: Be On the Look-Out for Electricity Vampires
Unplug home electronics when you’re not using them. Most of them have features that make them easier to use—instant-on TVs, for instance—that also suck up electricity, even when they’re not in use to the tune. This can amount to $75 in energy costs per year. Be sure to turn off your computer, too.
Tip # 9: Dry Smart.
Be smart and dry smart. Use the dryer at non-peak hours and clean the lint filter before every load will reduce your energy costs. A clogged dryer filter can increase energy use up to 30% and can also present a safety hazed because a clogged dryer filter can be a fire hazard. To help save time and energy dry two or more loads of laundry in a row to take advantage of an already warm dryer. Remove clothes from the dryer when they’re still warm to prevent wrinkling.
Tip # 10: Light solutions.
Replace your home’s incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs. You’ll save energy with the lower wattage it takes to power the bulb but also from reduced cooling costs—incandescent bulbs give off 90 percent of their energy as heat.
Tip #11: Not so Hot Fireplace.
Fireplaces can allow a lot of warm air to leave your home. Keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue to prevent heat loss. If you do use your fireplace consider installing tempered glass doors and add a heat exchange system that blows warm air back into the room. Add caulking to seal a the fireplace hearth and reduce drafts.
Tip #12: Celebrate the holidays with lower costs.
Decorating the house for the holiday can be costly but if you choose light-emitting diode or LED holiday lights you will reduce the cost of decorating your home and still embrace the holiday spirit!