Save on Your Energy Bills
Energy Saving Tips for this winter
Every year homeowners waste millions of dollars on heating and cooling their inefficient homes. If you are ready to stand up and say “No More”, here are a few tips that can lower your monthly electric bills. As our yearly incomes have lowered, each of us needs to find ways to make it up somewhere and these are some easy fixes that can help.
1. Making sure that all your doors and windows are caulked and weather stripped can do a lot to save you money. Stopping the drafts is a big deal. Make sure that your fireplace flue is closed when not in use. Insulate electrical outlets with foam gaskets.
2. Purchasing a programmable thermostat will help minimize unnecessary heating and cooling while the home is empty.
3. Turning your thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer for eight hours can reduce your energy bills by 10%. And don’t forget to close the heating or cooling vents to rooms that are not used.
4. Make sure that you have an annual service of your heating system and cooling system before the season starts and change your filters monthly to allow for better air flow. I know they say every 3 months, but for maximum air flow all the time, experts suggest monthly.
5. You can reduce your monthly hot water bill by setting your water heater to 130 degrees instead of the normal 140 degrees. And by installing flow restrictive showerheads and doing only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher you can save. And don’t forget the washer and dryer; do only full loads of laundry to save on hot water. Also, switching to a propane or gas water heater can cost a third less to operate than an electric water heater. You can also increase your water heater’s efficiency by draining it every six months to remove lime and mineral deposits.
6. When purchasing a gas stove you want to make sure that you have one with an electric ignition so that your pilot light isn’t always on. If yours isn’t, it may be time to get a new stove. An electric ignition uses 40 percent less energy than a standard pilot light. And make sure that all your burners are burning with a blue cone shaped flame. If the flame is yellow, it means air inlets or burners need repair.
7. If your kitchen gets extremely warm when you are using your oven, you may want to check the seal on your oven door. If there are gaps or tears then the heat is escaping and your oven has to work longer to get your food to the right temperature, thus wasting energy.
Check with Energy Star to see if any of your home efficiency projects qualify you for tax credits. You would have to hire a professional contractor to do an energy audit to certify that you qualify. An energy efficient home can not only save you money but makes your home more comfortable to live in.