The typical household in the United States spends more than $2,000 per year on energy bills. $2,000! Close to half of this cash goes straight to heating and cooling (just one more reason to invest in great insulation!), followed by energy-sucking electronics, dated appliances, water heaters and lighting.
Having a hard time stomaching that electric bill every month? Now's a great time to look into altering your energy usage. Your pocket book will thank you, as will the environment!
1. Install high-quality insulation
We're not just plugging insulation because it's our passion — it's actually a fantastic way to save money! Installing high-quality insulation can easily cut your utility bill by up to 50%, making it a fantastic energy-saving investment, and you're likely to get money back on your project if you participate in one of these rebate programs. That's some serious ROI!
2. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR certified appliances
Time to replace that old refrigerator? Look for the ENERGY STAR label on appliances while you shop. ENERGY STAR certified products use about 35% less energy than their counterparts and save more than 8,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
3. Use smart power strips to cut power usage
Plugging electronic appliances into a smart power strip allows you to designate when devices receive power. A great rule of thumb? Use the setting "always on" for devices that need to maintain a connection (like your WiFi router or primary desktop computer), but cut power from devices like speakers and TVs when they aren't in use.
4. Set timers for indoor lighting
On a similar note, mechanical timers are an easy way to save energy by dictating when lamps should be "on" and "off" at home. Sun go down at 6:00 p.m. these days? Let the timer do the hard work, turning a lamp or two on at 6:00 p.m. and off at your typical bedtime. Easy!
5. Install energy efficient LED light bulbs
Now this is an easy one: install energy efficient LED light bulbs that have earned an ENERGY STAR certification. These bulbs are independently certified for their energy efficiency and are guaranteed to save energy in comparison to generic alternatives.
6. Service water heater and HVAC systems regularly
The best way to ensure that key household systems like your water heater and air conditioner are running at peak efficiency is to routinely service them. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer, and spend a couple of hours each year keeping it in shape (i.e. changing filters or cleaning parts that get a lot of use).
7. Turn your thermostat off when you're away
Set your smart thermostat to scale back heating and cooling while you are asleep or away or make it a habit to turn the thing off while you're out of the house. Really need to save money? Set a routine for open shades and windows that will help you manage how much light (and subsequent heat) enters the house during warmer months.
8. Clean lint out of your dryer duct
Specific, we know. That said, a clogged dryer duct can seriously affect the efficiency of your dryer! Clean the lint screen after each load (obvious), but check the exhaust duct once a year as well. There are lots of online tutorials out there that can help you with this process!
9. Seal windows, doors and connections
Air sealing keeps conditioned air where it belongs: inside your house. Without proper air sealing, all that money you're spending on heating or cooling your house will escape within seconds. It's cash down the drain and energy out the window (literally!), not to mention a recipe for irritating drafts throughout your house.
10. Check your habits
Wasteful behavior is the hardest thing of all to change, but it's so worth it! Consider your energy usage throughout the day. Are you leaving the lights on in rooms where you aren't spending time during night hours? Do you have countertop appliances draining energy while not in use? Are you charging your phone even after it reaches 100%? Taking stock of bad habits like this can be really eye-opening!
We are committed to helping families in Wyoming and Colorado create safer, healthier, more energy efficient homes. Give us a call or schedule a FREE in-home consultation to discover all we can do for you!