Energy costs are one of the biggest home expenses for most home owners, especially if they are careless in certain areas of their home’s care. There are a number of things you can do to keep these energy costs down.
Purchasing products may seem counter-productive if you are trying to save money, but you will actually save money in the long run by purchasing products that keep your heated or cooled air inside and keep the elements out.
Blinds and window shades will keep the sunlight out, which will keep your home cooler on sunny days. Your home will work like a greenhouse if sun rays are let in and not allowed back out. Keeping them out to begin with is the best way to stay cool.
Halogen incandescent, CFL and LED lightbulbs are especially efficient. Lighting your home accounts for up to 20% of your energy bill, so it’s important to use these kinds of bulbs over regular incandescents. You can cut your lighting costs by 80% simply switching to energy-saving, longer-lasting bulbs.
Energy Star appliances will also reduce your energy costs significantly. You will find Energy Star appliances in any home improvement store or wherever appliances are sold. From refrigerators to washers and dryers, you can find an Energy Star alternative for every large appliance in your home.
Low-flow faucets and shower heads keep you from wasting water during a shower or while washing dishes. While you might miss the high water pressure, you’ll thank yourself when the water bill comes!
Your everyday actions around the house can also save you a lot of money. Get in the habit of closing doors immediately after walking in or out, and teach kids to open the fridge only when they know what they are looking for.
In addition, try these energy-saving tips as well.
Wash clothes in cold water to save money on your energy bill. There are actually very few items that must be washed in warm water, so check labels, and if it doesn’t say so explicitly, cold water is fine.
Clean air filters in your heating and air conditioning unit. When your air filters are dirty, it makes the unit have to work that much harder to suck air in and then force it back out again. It pays to do this job yourself, because the air filters are one of the first things a heating and air professional will check when they evaluate your unit for problems.
Seal up air leaks around your doors and windows. You would be amazed to know how much heat or cool air even a small crack can let in. Seal these areas with foam strips or caulking, and check them each season to make sure no new leaks have reappeared.
Install insulation in areas where there isn’t any – behind walls, in the attic and under your home. If there is only a thin layer or the insulation has gotten damaged, it won’t hurt to add an extra layer so that your whole house is protected.