We’re all looking for ways to save a little money each month. From shopping the clearance racks to packing your lunches, every small step you can take allows you to stock away a bit more into your saving account.
Did you know there’s another way to save money on a monthly basis? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American household spends over $2,000 on home energy bills every year, and your heating and cooling accounts for 48 percent of your energy bill. This is why it’s so important to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible; you’ll not only conserve energy and help the earth, but you’ll also see a significant reduction in your monthly energy bills.
Tips for a More Energy Efficient Home
It’s not uncommon for homes to waste energy on a daily basis due to having outdated appliances or leaky doors and windows. With summer approaching and your air conditioning unit getting ready to kick into high gear, here are a few simple tips that will improve your home’s energy efficiency – not just in the summer, but year-round:
- Turn off electronics when not in use. Use a power strip to make it easy to shut down all the electronics in the room at one time, including TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, etc. And, while it might seem like common sense, people do have a tendency to walk out of a room and forget to turn off the lights or the television. Make hitting those switches when you leave the room a habit.
- Swap out light bulbs. If you’re still using regular light bulbs throughout your home, pick up some energy efficient LEDs or halogen incandescent bulbs. These types of bulbs can reduce energy use by about a third.
- Close the blinds. When the sun streams in windows during the summer, it easily heats up the room and makes your air conditioning turn on more frequently. Keep the shades or blinds drawn to keep out those hot sun rays. Conversely, in the wintertime, let the sun shine in.
- Change the air filter in the furnace. If the air filter in the furnace is dirty, air cannot flow freely through the vents to properly heat or cool your home. It’s recommended to clean or change the filter monthly, as over time a dirty filter can even damage your heating and cooling system.
- Shorten your shower time. Taking a lot, hot shower may feel wonderful, but keep in mind that you’re wasting a lot of water by doing so. Try to shorten your shower times and avoid taking frequent baths in your giant soaking tub. Or, install low-flow faucets or showerheads to see even more savings on your energy bill.
- Turn down the water temperature. About 15% of your home’s energy bill goes to heating water. Keep your water heater set no higher than 130 degrees. You can even wrap the water tank in a special “blanket” to help retain the heat inside.
- Wait until the laundry basket or dishwasher is full. You might really want that one shirt clean and ready to wear again, but wait until you have a full load of laundry before throwing just a few items in at a time. Also, try to run the dishwasher weekly instead of daily. If possible, air dry clothes and dishes as often as you can.
- Seal doors and windows. Properly insulating your home can save you up to 20 percent on your energy bills. Start by sealing any air leaks in windows and doors by using caulk and weather stripping.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Utilizing a programmable thermostat can save you up to 10% on your heating and cooling costs, because you can set it to lower the temperature when no one is home and overnight.
All these tips are fairly easy and inexpensive to implement, and we’re sure you’ll start noticing a reduction in your monthly energy bills quickly!