While moving into a new home can be an exciting experience, the cost associated with connecting services like electricity, cable, and internet to your new home isn’t. On top of being simply frustrating, it can get expensive. One way to combat those inevitable costs is to start saving in other areas, like your electricity bill. Here are 11 steps you can take to save you energy and money.
A programmable thermostat can save you on heating and cooling costs as it can be set for multiple daily settings and can adjust to changing outside temperatures. According to one energy saver site, this can contribute to as much as 20-30% in savings.
Install or Use ceiling fans.
During the warmer months, try setting your air conditioner temperature higher and turn on your ceiling fans instead. The moving air tends to feel cooler and at a higher temperature, your a/c should run less, thus using less energy. If your home doesn’t contain ceiling fans, they can be installed by an electrician or by yourself.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)
Install CFLs instead of the standard incandescent bulbs found in many homes. Surprisingly, these CFLs can actually use up to 75% less energy than regular bulbs, and they last longer too.
At first glance, they cost a little more but they can save you money on your monthly bill. Check with your local government to see if any rebates are being offered for replacing old appliances with new Energy Star items.
Hot water jackets.
Heating water is one of the larger home-energy consumers. One tip is to buy a hot water jacket – a fairly simple and inexpensive way to insulate your water heater. According to the US Department of Energy, this can reduce standby heat losses by 25% – 45%. Just be sure to choose one with an insulating value of at least R-8.
Low-flow faucets and showerheads.
Another way you can reduce your energy bill is by using less hot water. To conserve hot water, fix any obvious leaks, and replace older faucets and showerheads with low-flow fixtures. This reduces excess water flow every time you use them. By installing low-flow fixtures you can achieve water savings of 25%-60%.
Seal up your home.
When moving into your home, be sure to check all windows and door frames for any leaks or cracks. With some caulk and weatherstripping, you can fix these small problems and save up to 20%. You’ll be surprised how much an air-tight home can save you.
Unplug your appliances and chargers.
Even if your chargers and appliances aren’t in use, they are still using energy because they are attached to a power source. This is called standby power, and it can attribute to 5%-10% of residential use. Another way to mitigate this issue is to plug those devices into a power strip that can be turned off when not in use.
Arrange an HVAC inspection.
Hire a technician to check your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to make sure it’s operating at its peak efficiency. If it’s an older product it could have leaking ducts or other faulty issues that could be wasting as much as 20% of energy.
Many older homes weren’t built with the same amount of insulation that is used today. Proper insulation will help reduce heating and cooling costs and can actually make you feel more comfortable year-round.
Shut doors and curtains.
A simple way to save energy and money is to only control the temperature where you need it. Shutting doors to areas you’re not using or curtaining windows in rooms you aren’t in can mitigate temperature changes. Also, try only cooling or heating the rooms where you spend the most time.