10 TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR ENERGY BILL
Energy bills have been on the rise and will continue to spike as the cost of oil increases. Droughts and water shortages have also added to the rise of energy costs by forcing strict water use restrictions across many regions. Although there’s no way to control the growth of energy costs, there are steps we can take to make our homes more energy efficient. Here’s a list of 10 tips that will help to reduce your energy bills for years to come.
SWITCH OUT CONVENTIONAL LIGHT BULBS WITH ENERGY-EFFICIENT ONES
A light bulb is a simple, often overlooked aspect in most homes’ annual energy consumption. According to Environmental Protection Agency reports, if every household in the United States replaced just one standard light bulb with an energy-efficient one, the nation would save $600 million annually in energy costs. That is enough saved energy to power 3 million homes for a year! For a single household, just one energy-efficient light bulb uses 70-90% less energy and lasts 10 to 25 times longer than a conventional bulb.
SEAL THE OPENINGS AROUND YOUR HOME
Small openings around your home may not seem like much of an issue but have a huge impact on energy consumption. Weather-stripping and caulking the openings around windows and doors is an easy way to keep air from escaping outside and drafts from getting in. A visual inspection around the interior and exterior of your home will give you a good idea of where the leaks are coming from. A professional energy audit is also a good way to pinpoint the areas of your home where energy is being wasted the most
UNPLUG ELECTRONICS & APPLIANCES WHEN NOT IN USE
Many people don’t realize how much energy is used from leaving their devices plugged in. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, leaving a computer on can cost you 21 cents per day, or $75 per year! The average home has 40 idle products that are constantly drawing power. While it can be difficult to remember to unplug everything when you’re done using it, a power strip is a simple way to unplug multiple devices at the same time.
CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER
During the winter season it’s important to change the air filter in your furnace every couple months. Having a clean air filter will allow the furnace to run more efficiently and use less energy. Getting a furnace tune up done before each heating season is another good way to make sure it’s running efficiently and using as little energy as possible.
According to U.S. Department of Energy, water heating can account for 12% of an average household’s utility bill. If not looking to purchase a new energy efficient water heater just yet, there are other ways to save energy. Taking a short shower instead of a bath is a great way to conserve both water and energy. Another easy trick to conserve water is by using your dishwasher and washing machine more efficiently. By only washing full loads, you will use less water over time and save on your energy bill.
KEEP THE LIGHTS OFF IN & OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
Keeping the lights off in unoccupied rooms is an easy way to reduce your energy consumption. If it’s daytime, rely on natural light from outside instead of light fixtures. Making a habit of this could dramatically drop your energy bills overtime.
TURN THE HEAT DOWN & AIR UP WHEN YOU LEAVE
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can knock 10 percent off your yearly heating and cooling bill by turning the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day. For those with pets at home, turning the thermostat back just a couple degrees will save you money and keep your animals cozy.
Having adequate insulation throughout your home is the key to big energy savings. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in some cases insulation can reduce energy costs by as much as 50 percent! The attic is the easiest and most beneficial place to add insulation. Attic insulation should be at least 12” thick but it’s not uncommon to see 15” to 20” in a well-insulated attic. Adding insulation to interior and exterior walls is also important but can be tricky to do without tearing into your drywall or siding. For existing walls blow-in insulation can be added without causing much of a disturbance to the interior. If remodeling and opening up walls, consider injectable spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation costs more than the traditional types insulation, but is more effective and can add structural integrity to your home.
USE ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
If looking to purchase new appliances, consider looking for ones with the Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances use between 10 and 50 percent less water and energy than conventional appliances. While Energy Star appliances may cost more up front, they will save you money over time.
According to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, planting trees around your home can lower your summer energy bill up to 40 percent! Shade from trees reduces the amount of sun exposure around your home, making it noticeably cooler on those super hot summer days. Besides reducing your energy bill, planting trees adds curb appeal to your home, while helping the environment at the same time! So I guess we can all agree that the saying, “money does grow on trees” is true!
Following these tips will not only help make your home more energy efficient but will also save you money in the future. At BOLT Construction & Roofing we know the importance of energy efficient homes. Not only does properly insulating your attic save you money, it reduces draftiness and improves the comfort of your home. Call us at 314-646-7663 to schedule your free insulation inspection today!