Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Hard Earned Money In Your Pocket
Saving money on your energy bills is important to not only our budgets, but the environment too. Here are a few tips and tricks to help reduce the overall cost of your yearly energy bills and make your small contribution to the health of your local environment.
If you are like me you turn off all the lights in your home, keep the doors closed in winter, and turn your heater down when you’re on vacation. These are all “Good Things” as Martha Stewart might say, but are they enough to make a dent in your monthly energy bills?
Yes, but there are many other things that can drastically reduce your energy bills. They are divided into two categories:
Here is a list of easy things you can do for free to help reduce your yearly energy bills.
- Unplug appliances when not in use – Most modern-day electronics pull quite a bit of power even when not in use
- Only do full loads and choose a setting on your clothes dryer that has a moisture sensor. You could even hang your laundry to dry depending on where you live
- Set your water heater to 120 F
- Use blinds and shades on your windows
- Set your thermostat to 68 F or below in the summer and 78 F or below in the winter
- Take shorter showers
- Turn off or get rid of that extra refrigerator or freezer you don’t use often
2. Things that cost money
Once you have mastered the art of turning off lights when leaving a room and taking shorter showers, it is time to spend a few $ to really get your energy bills down. This strategy can be divided into two sub-categories:
Low Cost Options
- Install insulation around your water heater with a water heater blanket
- Install a high-efficiency low flow shower heads in baths
- Replace faucets that may be old and leaky
- Replace all your incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent or LED bulbs. This can save up to 75% of your cost to light your home
- Install ceiling fans in bedrooms, kitchens, and large common areas
- Caulk and/or install weather-stripping on all windows and doors to keep cold/warm air out
- Plant shrubs and trees to create shade and cut interior temperatures in the summer
Higher Cost Options
- Replace old windows and/or doors with new, Energy Efficient ones. A guide to Energy Efficient Windows can be found at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/guide_to_energy_efficient_windows.pdf
- Replace Water Heater with Energy Efficient unit
- Upgrade your appliances such as Dishwasher, Washer/Dryer, and Refrigerator if old and less efficient
- Install a programmable thermostat to keep you home the right temperature all the time, day or night, and when you are gone for prolonged periods of time. Here is a guide to programmable thermostats from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/thermostats.htm
- Add additional insulation to attics and walls. Increasing the R-Value of you attic insulation can save a significant amount of $ in the Summer and Winter months
This is surely not a complete list, but should head you in the right direction to saving on your energy bills!
For additional tips and tools to evaluate your energy usage and save money, visit https://www.avistautilities.com/savings/pages/default.aspx