When I was preparing to write this article I came across some statistics. The typical U.S. family spends at least $2.200 a year on home utility bills. Guess how much you can lower this amount following these easy home energy saving tips? Up to 25%! Why? The reason is wasted energy. Through leaky windows, old appliances, inefficient heating, and cooling systems we waste a lot of energy. Thankfully, this day and age, due to technological development, we do have so many options to save energy and money.
An energy-efficient home will really keep you and your family comfortable while saving money. Sure, you’ll need to spend some money on improvement, but it will pay off shortly. You’ll lower energy bills and, when you decide to sell your home, it will cost higher and be more attractive to buyers. So here we are with some really useful tips to make your home energy-efficient and save more money in your pocket.
Start from replacing your halogens with LED bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs. They are bright enough, and will still save energy. This may cost you somewhere around $150 and save up to $50 a year on bills. Besides, you should use lighting control devices and dust light fixtures regularly. Be careful with reading light bulb packages. Consider that energy-saving bulbs produce more lumens per watt of used electricity. Turn off your lights when you’re not using them. According to a savvy-on-energy saving trust website, this will lower your energy bills up to $18-20 a year. There is one more step to take to save energy and money. It’s about using more daylight instead of turning on lights. Keep curtains open or use light-colored curtains to allow more daylight into your room. Painting your home with light and high-gloss paint will also help to have more light in the room reflecting daylight.
When talking about heating your home, you should first of all pay attention to the temperature in each room. Be sure to set the temperature for each area of your home. This does not mean turning to heat off in rooms which you don’t use. Your furnace is designed to heat specific square footage of space. So it will work at the same pace and use the same energy, and cold air from unused rooms will escape into the rest of the house. If your heating system is working with natural gas, you should regularly have it inspected. This will save you up to 5% heating costs. As dust and dirt can make your furnace run harder and break it down, you should change or clean its filter every month. Once more about curtains: keep them closed at night not to let cold air in and open during the day to let the sun warm and light your room. One more trick: install a room thermostat and set it exactly how you actually want to. Keep in mind that setting the thermostat higher will not heat your home faster. It’s proven that turning down the room thermostat by only one degree can save up to $120 a year.
Insulate your home to reduce heat loss. Insulating should be done in every part of your house. For example, attic insulation for 3-12 inches can cut heating costs by 20%, and cooling costs – by 10%. Use no-itch or poly-wrapped insulation products to have better results. Make sure to choose waterproof basement for roofs, since wet insulation is worthless. One of the most important parts to insulate your house is the floor. You can do it yourself with materials from a DIY store. Still, if you don’t feel confident at this job, you can get a professional to do it for you. Use carpets and rugs on the floor to feel your feet warmer and save by not putting the heating on that much. Also, remember to insulate and upgrade your windows to an energy-efficient style. As for exterior walls, use R-value insulation, such as foam.
Kitchen and laundry room
Every homeowner will say that most energy is used in the kitchen and the laundry room. So we decided to have tips for them separately. Use smaller kitchen appliances. Don’t leave the refrigerator door open in order not to let the cooled air escape. The same refers to the oven. Don’t keep your refrigerator and freezer too cold. Test the refrigerator by a piece of paper or a dollar bill to see if the door seals are alright. If you can easily pull the paper or bill out, it’s time to replace the gaskets. Be sure to run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads and set an appropriate level for water. Always dry one load of clothes immediately after another to reduce warm-up and drying times and minimize heat loss. If you’re shopping for new appliances, you should choose smart ones to be connected to smart electric meters. Smart appliances will help you shift your electricity use to off-peak hours.
By: Hermine Aslanyan
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