Your electricity bill is one that varies from month to month and can at certain times of the year vary quite drastically. Beyond just reducing your bill, reducing the amount of energy your home consumes can really help the environment as it cuts down the fossil fuels needed to sustain your household needs and it reduces the carbon emissions it emits.
Whether you’re using gas or electricity to heat and cool your home, these tips will help cut costs for both.
1. Seal your home
Why is sealing your home a good idea? Well, think of your home as an envelope. To protect the contents of the package inside you seal it. In order to maintain a steady temperature, whether it’s your heat in the winter or the air conditioning in summer, you’ll want to seal all cracks so that nothing gets in or out. You can do this on your own, or have an expert do it.
If you want to start via the DIY route, you can start by adding weather stripping to doors that might be a little drafty, and caulk windows where cold or warm air is getting in.
If you’ve done this, or you are certain that you do not have any drafty doors or windows, it’s time to contact the professional. An expert will be able to do an inspection and isolate where the issue is originating from. Ducting is a common source of issues, so be sure that your contractor looks for tears holes, and any other signs of damage that need to be sealed up.
2. Make some upgrades
If your temperature control system is out of date, you should consider investing in a new system. Heating and cooling are responsible for the highest consumption of energy in the household, so when it comes time for a replacement, you should be replacing your system with some high-performing equipment. It is important that your furnace is the correct size for your home. The same goes for the AC system. If either of these things is too big, or too small it is a waste of energy and pushes your monthly costs up.
Another thing you could do is replace your major appliances with energy-saving/efficient versions. For example, make sure that your washer, dryer, and fridge all have the Energy Star logo. This can even get you a tax credit, a rebate, and other savings.
Replacing a major appliance is one of the most expensive ways to cut your costs, so it might not be appealing, but don’t think of it as the only things that can be done. You can also make smaller changes, like replacing your bulbs with energy-efficient ones or even upgrading to a thermostat that is programmable.
3. Consider a switch to solar
This is probably the best way to save energy expenses but is a case of “you’ve got to spend some to make some.” Solar requires quite a hefty investment up front but is well worth the switch if you plan to stay where you live for quite a while. Did you know that if you were to install solar panels in Los Angeles you would get up to 26% federal tax credit? This means that solar is good for the environment and helps you save money in a big way. They also boost the resale value of your home, which is just an extra added bonus.
4. Change your habits
Beyond the major improvement projects, there are smaller, simple habits you can change to reduce your consumption. These are as follows:
- Switch off unnecessary lights when you leave the room. You do not need your entire home to be illuminated at all times of the night.
- Switch unnecessary appliances off when they are not in use. Consider switching them off at the wall, or even unplug them.
- Put your laundry through cold wash when possible and clean the lint trap in your dryer.
- To reduce your hot water usage, take a 10 minute (max) shower instead of a bath.
- While cooking, be sure to use the smaller hot plate, or burner for smaller pots.
- Lower your house temperature slightly in winter and raise it slightly in summer so that your heating and cooling system doesn’t have to work so hard. Even a few degrees makes a difference.
5. Monitor your usage
Energy-saving tips might not mean much unless you are able to see a physical change. This is why it is important that you monitor your usage and savings per month due to the changes you have decided to implement. How does one do this? Most utility companies offer an energy audit where you can see how your spending and usage have changed.
There you have it. We hope that these tips have been helpful!