With temperatures cooling outside, higher energy bills are on the horizon. Increased use of lights, drafty windows and doors, and improper thermostat settings are just some of the factors that cause a high energy bill. These are simple things to fix, which can equate to big savings later on. Here are a few energy saving ideas to consider before cold weather arrives.
Save on your lighting bill
Change your light bulbs -By replacing 15 regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, you can expect an energy savings of roughly $50 per year. According to Energy.gov website, CFL light bulbs not only offer a 75% energy savings, but they require less maintenance, too, as they last roughly 10 times longer than regular light bulbs.
Dimmer controls – A dimmer control (or switch) is an inexpensive product that allow lights to be used at various intensity. Turn the dimmer up, and you’ll have a bright light to work by. Turn the dimmer down, and the light dims to a low glow. Best of all, you’ll save energy by having your lights on a dimmer and increase the life of your light bulbs.
Motion and occupancy controls – We’ve all heard of motion-activated security and flood lights, and how they can protect your home and reduce your electric bill. But how about occupancy sensor lights? These are a great product to have if you live with children (or adults) that can’t seem to remember to switch the lights off when they leave the room. The occupancy sensor detects when the room is empty, and turns the lights off automatically.
Save on your heating bill
Pay attention to the temperature inside – How often do you adjust the thermostat during cold weather months? Consider this – By setting your thermostat at 69 degrees instead of 70, you’ll save 1 percent on your energy bill. Reduce the thermostat to 68 and you’ll save another 1 percent. In fact, each time you lower the thermostat one degree, you’ll save 1 percent.
Consider a programmable thermostat – Control the temperature inside your home, even when you’re away. A programmable thermostat allows you to lower the temperature while you’re at work, and program it to kick on 30 minutes before you return home. These devices are great at saving energy and money! Some models even allow to program days or weeks a time.
Insulate windows and doors – By sealing windows, doors and other drafty areas, the average homeowner can save an estimated 10% on their annual energy bill, according to Energy Star. Learn how to insulate doors and windows and stay warm without breaking the bank.
Change your filters – A dirty air filter can clog airflow, making it more difficult to heat your home. By replacing your filter as needed (usually every 30 – 90 days), you’ll help your furnace run more efficiently and improve the air quality in your home.
Lower the costs to heat water
According to the Federal Energy Agency, water heaters are the second highest source of energy usage in the home. You can reduce energy costs by 7 to 11 percent by lowering you water heater’s maximum temperature to 120 degrees. To save even more, consider replacing your existing unit with a tankless hot water heater.
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Personal knowledge and experience