I am spending over $150 per month on my energy bills, and I know that the average is around $110. I do not have an overly large home, and I was wondering what the experts have to say about making a home more energy efficient?
A home that is properly not energy proofed can cost you to spend almost double on your energy costs. It’s expensive to heat, cool and run a home, but there are key ways that you can try and cut back on these costs.
Little changes in your habits can help, and this includes small changes, such as shutting off the light when leaving a room or turning your heating or cooling down or up respectively. ENERGYSTAR claims that the ideal temperature should be between 70F and 78F. Turn your heat down a few degrees and your air conditioner up a few degrees for instant savings.
Heating and cooling accounts for 44% of your utility bills, so this is the first place to start when trying to make a home more energy efficient. You’ll also want to seal off any drafts that may be coming through the doors or windows of the home. Sealing doors and windows properly will eliminate warm or cool air leaking out of the home.
Gaps can cost the average household $200 to $400 per year.
You should learn to perform your own energy assessment to determine how much energy you’re wasting that can easily be corrected.
Once you’ve made sure that all of the drafts in the home have been properly sealed, it’s time to start moving on to lights, cooking and appliances, which account for 33% of your energy bill costs.
Whether you’re purchasing Canadian appliances or US appliances, it’s important that they be energy efficient. Older appliances will become worn and dated, and while they may function properly, they’ll often use more energy as they age. If you have older appliances, it may be beneficial to replace them with newer models.
Energy Star labels on appliances can save you $35 to $70 per year over 15-year old major appliances. Major appliances will include your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, dryer and washing machine. If you turn look at your washing machine, you’ll find that at least 80% of the energy it uses is due to heating water.
Use less water or choose a cooler water option to reduce the energy usage of this major appliance. Dishwasher drying cycles are also major energy hogs.
Nest thermostats or any of the smart thermostat units that you see can also cut down your energy usage drastically.
Dirty filters will make your HVAC system work much harder. You’ll want to replace these filters regularly so that your system doesn’t have to work as hard to heat or cool the home. You can change older lightbulbs out for LED bulbs, and when the sun is beaming outside, you’ll also want to keep the shades or blinds open to ensure that the home is naturally heated.
If you follow just these simple tips, you’ll be able to cut back your energy consumption dramatically.