Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cut your energy bill by half by following these methods

Most homeowners will never add up their year’s worth of energy bills. There are so many options and tips to help you save and cut your energy bill by half every year. According to statistics taken by the U.S. Department of Energy, an average household spends about $2,000 every year on heating and cooling. That is no small amount for a middle class household. Here are a few tips to keep in mind and some home improvements you can do to add up around $1,000 in energy savings every year;

Unplug Chargers and other Electronics

Most remote operated devices like TVs, set-top boxes and devices with chargers like cell phones and computer equipment use power even when they are switched off. So make sure you unplug them when they are not in use.

Use Compact Fluorescent Lamps

Compact Fluorescent Lamps otherwise known as CFLs use over two-thirds less electricity compared to standard electric light bulbs. For most used areas in your home that needs light, you can replace five regular bulbs with CFLs to save energy.

Change Furnace Filter

When was the last time you checked your heating or cooling systems air filters? Heating and Air conditioning contractors recommend homeowners to check their unit’s air filters once in every 2 months or each month during the peak seasons like summer and winter. When filters are dirty, it is important to replace them immediately, reason being that clogged filters restrict clean airflow, which in turn reduces energy efficiency and increases wear and tear on your heater or air conditioning parts.

Lower the Heat

Did you know that heating accounts for around 31% of an average home’s energy costs? To keep your home’s indoors warm and comfy without raising your energy bills, experts suggest to lower the room temperature frequently so that you can save 5% on your heating bill every cold season.

Raise the Cool

The second-biggest energy user next to a home’s furnace or heater is the air conditioner. Nudge up the thermostat so that it saves about 1-3% per degree on the cooling bill in the warm and hot seasons. Ceiling fans also serve as a boon to your cooling unit and can help make a huge difference by several degrees in keeping your home nice and cool. But an important fact to remember is that fans only cool people and not rooms. So make it a point to always turn them off when no one is around. 

Install Programmable Thermostats

To automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings according to your daily schedule, install programmable thermostats. For instance, if you leave the house for the day without turning up the AC or turning down the heat, these programmable thermostats can save a lot of energy and money in the bargain.

Weather-Seal Outlets and Openings

During the summer and winter months, air leaks around windows and doors waste cooled air in summer and heated air in winter. To prevent this from happening, you can add weatherstripping to openings in windows/doors and fill gaps around them with caulk. This way the money saved on your energy bill every month is enough to pay for the necessary materials.

Seal Ductwork

To keep dust/insects out of your unit’s ducts, improve its energy efficiency and stop the loss of expensive heated/cooled air, make it a point to seal the ductwork indoors. Air ducts made of metal air ducts are prone to leakage especially when they age.

Air-Seal and Insulate

For the best return on investment for your heating and cooling units, add insulation and air-seal areas which are the most common trouble spots. This includes your attic, basement or under the floors.

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