Ways to Save Energy in Your Home and Lower Utility Bills
Making sure your home is energy efficient is not just about making sure that you have a lesser impact on the environment. It is also one of the best ways to reduce your utility bill costs. Some energy-efficient changes you can make to your home can be really simple and very budget-friendly while others may require a little bit more of an upfront investment.
Here are some ways to help save energy and money on your utility bills
Talk with a professional
A good way to find solutions and save money on your utility bills by lessening your consumption is to talk with a professional. Have a professional energy audit performed on your home to determine where most of the energy is being used within your home.
An energy audit can consist of many things some of which may include blower door tests to check for drafts, thermographic screenings, and other types of energy inspections to assess various features that are known for the largest energy consumption in a home.
The US Department of Energy estimates that a home energy audit can take between one and five hours and will cost about $408 on average depending upon your location and the size of your home. In some areas, this cost can go up to $1500 or more. The cost may seem large but the department of energy estimates this audit could save anywhere from 5% to 30% on your energy bills.
Find out which electronic devices are sucking energy
There are some electronics that we use in our home that are taking a significant amount of power draw even after they have been turned off. You can figure out if your devices are sucking electricity with a home energy monitor that plugs into your electric panel to provide details about electricity use through a mobile app on your phone.
Alternatively, you could use a kilowatt meter to measure how much energy each individual appliance in your home is using like your refrigerator or computer. Of course, there is always the test of warmth. Devices using the most energy are going to feel warm to the touch.
Switch to smaller machines for work and entertainment
The devices you use in your home for work and entertainment have a big impact on your energy consumption. Switching from a desktop computer to a laptop can be a significant decrease in energy use. This is not only because you can unplug and run it on battery power, but because it uses less energy and components overall.
If you are using a gaming console to stream most of your entertainment this could be taking up to 20 times more energy as compared to using a Roku or Apple TV to stream items like Netflix and Hulu.
Update older appliances
This is not shocking news to most people as many know that newer appliances are built to be more energy-efficient than older models. The most energy-efficient of appliances have an energy star rating letting you know that they are designed to use the least amount of energy possible to still effectively get the job done. In addition to purchasing these items, you want to make sure you are using the eco-settings for top efficiency.
Change your lightbulbs
Very few houses are using them anymore but if you have any incandescent bulbs anywhere in your home switch them out for LED ones. An LED bulb uses just 8 W with the same amount of brightness or more as a 60 W incandescent bulb and will last much longer. Some people are not a fan of the harsh bright white light that some of these bulbs can let off. What is nice is there are many newer products that give you a range of different color shades for a softer hue.
Keep an eye on the thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a great way to make sure that your heating and cooling are exactly where it needs to be. You can even set it to adjust to a cooler temperature during the day when no one is in the house. Or at night time when everybody is bundling up under their blankets. You can also make sure that your heating and cooling system is not working too hard trying to set the perfect temperature when the weather has hit an extreme point outside.
Keep up on HVAC maintenance
The heating and cooling system in your home is a big source of energy consumption. The best way to make sure that your HVAC system is in pristine order and not working too hard is to have it routinely checked out twice a year. You want to make sure that it is clean and running smoothly so that it is not consuming too much energy.
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