The energy bill is one of the most expensive utilities on residential properties and often fluctuates throughout the year. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce your energy usage and your carbon footprint in each season. To pay less on your bill each month, there are a few important tips to follow to save.
Install Energy Star Appliances
The U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Information Administration reports that the average bill in 2013 was $110.21, which varies by state and the climate. You can lower your bill below the national average by $72 over the course of a year just by installing a new refrigerator that is energy-efficient, according to forbes.com. The purchase may be considered an investment, but updated your appliances will prove to pay off and can even allow you to take advantage of tax credits.
Program Your Thermostat
Controlling your thermostat each day will prevent the temperature from fluctuating in the home and will reduce your usage of the HVAC system. Set the thermostat at 68 degrees when you’re home and 75 degrees when you’re away from the property. During the summer season, avoid turning the thermostat off completely because it will use more energy to cool the home instead of keeping the AC running when the home is unoccupied. You can even save 10 percent on your heating and cooling costs each year by turning the thermostat back by 10 degrees each day for eight hours.
Seal the House
You can reduce the energy on the property by sealing up your house due to leaks that are present in the doors and windows. Chaulk the areas where cracks or holes are present to control the temperature in the home and avoid air from escaping or getting in from the outside. This can reduce the home’s energy usage by up to 30 percent on areas that can be resealed once or twice a year when it’s needed.
Hang Blackout Curtains
You can prevent heat from transferring into your home by adding blackout curtains to the windows in your home. The thick material of the window treatments will prove to be effective in the summer season when you want to keep the interior setting cool and reduce your usage of the HVAC system. You can also consider applying tint to windows that can’t be covered with curtains to reduce the amount of sunlight that enters the home.
New storm windows can also be installed, which are thick and insulate the home more efficiently than older models. This will reduce temperature loss by sealing leaks that are present and reducing airspace that is available between the window panes. In rooms of the home that are not used frequently, you can even apply bubble wrap to reduce heat loss, which is an affordable option to reduce your energy usage.
Monitor Your Energy Usage
It can be difficult to know just how much energy is being used on the property each month with different residents living in the building. Installing an electric submeter can help determine how much you can expect to pay on your next bill. This will make it easy to reduce your usage if it’s needed to obtain savings throughout the year.
Change Your Light Bulbs
It’s important to change your lightbulbs and replace them with CFL bulbs, which can save over $30 during the bulb’s lifetime. The product uses 75 percent less energy and can last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Insulation is considered to be one of the most effective products to use to reduce your energy consumption in each season. You’ll need to install the material in your attic, walls, ceilings, and floors to reduce the air that flows in and out of the home to ensure that you can control the interior temperature.