With today’s sensitivity to being “green” and reducing your “carbon footprint” there are lots of ideas floating around about how to save money on your electricity or utility bills. Some of the ideas focus on using less electricity while you are in your home, while others ideas focus on avoiding wasting electricity when you are not home. Below are some useful tips that will help you save on your monthly bills while also reducing your carbon footprint.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Today’s appliance offerings are so diverse. You can go crazy standing in the appliance section of your local home improvement store trying to decide which refrigerator, washing machine, or dishwasher to choose. There are many shapes, sizes, and even colors to choose from. One thing to consider when making this large purchase is the intangible benefits – those that you cannot see when standing in the store, but that will truly be benefits for the life of the appliance. The energy efficiency of that appliance is something to consider. Read the fine print and compare the efficiency of all fo the models that you are considering. A more efficient appliance will surely save you money down the road on your utility bills.
Standardize your Thermostat
When you are not in your home, you can save electricity by trying to temper the extreme temperatures. When you leave for work, you can adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer and a lower one in the winter. Do not adjust it by more than 5 degrees, but even that little amount can make a difference in your bills. Also, leave your thermostat at 78 degrees or above in the summer and at 68 or below in the winter can help to ensure that you use as little energy as possible to heat and cool your home. Since heating and cooling your home is usually the biggest source of energy consumption, lowering your consumption there will likely result in some real savings.
Use Energy Saving Lightbulbs
Did you know that energy efficient flourescent lightbulbs last up to 10 times as long as traditional incandescent bulbs, and use less energy? That is one quick and easy (and affordable!) way to save some money. Identify areas in your house where it makes sense to have a lower energy bulb. Maybe start with some of those hard-to-reach places where you find bulbs are not as easy to change. Using a longer-lasting and more energy efficient bulb there will not only save you money, but also time in not having to change it as frequently. Not to mention the money you’ll save on your utility bills each month.l
Stop the flow
If your home is older, it likely has aging windows and doors that may allow air to seep into or out of your home, causing your furnace or air conditioner to work harder. Sealing your windows and doors to stop the flow of air can help make your home a more comfortable temperature without using as much electricity. You can do this by using caulk, tape, or a towel under the door. A more expensive, but efficient way to fix the problem woudl be to install new double-paned glass doors that are made to be more efficient. You will definitely save real money over time with those new doors.
Get an Energy Audit
Many utility companies will come to your home and do a free energy audit or check up to determine ways in which you can save electricity, and therefore, money on your bills. Call your utility company today to see if they have such an offering, and make an appointment for one of them to come visit you and give you some ideas. They can verify that your home is properly insulated and that your doors and windows are not leaking. They can point out a few ways to easily and affordably make your home more energy efficient.
As you can see, saving money on electricity isn’t all that hard. Just follow these few steps and you’ll be on your way to a reduced carbon footprint and money in your pocket!