If you are planning to make changes in your life this year, start by making a change in your bills. You are not going to stop receiving bills, but at least you can stop raising them. The average household spends more than $2,200 per year and almost the half of these are going to the heating and cooling costs. In nowadays there are a lot of solutions that are able to reduce your monthly payable amount. You can start from increasing your energy efficiency at the highest possible level. Here are some advices that I have collected for you so that to hit the best energy saving.
1) Replace the common lights. Replacing the traditional bulbs with the energy-saving bulbs you are going to reduce your energy cost as if the 10 % of your energy costs is coming from the lighting. These new energy bulbs are made not only energy saving but also for longer life so that not to replace them in a short time. To reduce the lighting costs, you can also take advantage of the natural light by opening the windows during the day and avoiding turn the lights on while the sun is shinning.
2) Seal your openings. You cannot imagine how much energy you lose through your openings. The best way to realize that is to light a candle and make a tour around your openings and watching if the smoke is going out. If you notice that the smoke is going out, means that you have a big energy loss from that opening. The best way to repair that is to strip down the door and to enhance its insulation with the help of a specialist. In case that this might not between your economical abilities the cheapest solution is to add weatherstrip on your opening, blocking, like that, the incoming air to get in your home.
3) Seal the ducts. A lot of homes are losing energy through their basement. Usually, people that carry a basement in their home, they don’t give a big attention to that place of the house because they don’t live in there. So, except of checking also the basement’s openings (if there is any), you have to check also the ducts that are placed in this level and watch if there is any loss to insolate by using duct sealant to repair leaks in exposed ducts.
4) Install a programmable thermostat. This is a practice and economic solution and it is going to save from needless heating or cooling, the time that you don’t need it. It is easy to install it and much easier to set it to function as if you can do all the necessary setting automatically. You can set the programmable thermostat to function in heat or cool air the time that you need it, according to a pre-set schedule. The advantage of this function is that you set the thermostat work in lower temperature, when you are not at home or when you are sleeping and higher when you are at home and awake. By this way you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill as if you can use the same function also in the summer for the central air-condition.
5) Replace the old doors and windows. Replacing the old doors and windows is not a cheap solution for your present but it will certainly be in your future. If you replace them with energy-efficient ones you will see the difference in the long term by saving money from your bill. Nancy Munson, a resident of Downers Grove, has already replaced her old drafty windows with energy-efficient vinyl-frame windows in the back of the house and as she says, she saw her bill reducing by $25 to $50 every month. Don’t you think that it’s worth at least to take an offer?
6) Replace your old equipments. If your appliances count more than 15 years, then maybe it is time to change them and replace them with energy-efficient heating, ventilations and air-conditions. When it is time to do that, look for Energy Star appliances where you can find certified products which internalize high quality technologies that use 10%-15% less energy and water than the common ones. Before you start replacing your appliances, try to reduce your heating losses by implementing the above tips and if you don’t see any difference in your payable bill, then go on for this one.
7) Ask a professional. Finally, if all these sound time-consuming for you, there are a lot of professionals that are able to help you by making meaningless movements and spending your money with no result. So, don’t hesitate to hire one of them who are qualified to recommend you how to improve your home energy efficiency.