Your electric bills are probably at an all-time high right now. It’s hot, the A/C is running all day, and energy costs are on the rise. Here are a few tips on how to save some money this summer and in the upcoming winter months, by lowering utility bills and improving energy efficiency, making your home more comfortable:
1. Check to See if Your Home is Properly Insulated
Most homes don’t have enough insulation. Adding insulation to your home provides an immediate return on your investment by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home. Some products, like TAP Insulation, can even lower utility bills by up to 30% and has the added benefit of pest protection!
2. Install Weatherstripping Around Doors & Windows
Keeping cool air in during the summer and warm air during the winter increases the efficiency of your HVAC system and makes your home more comfortable (and keeps pests out!). Check around doors and windows for gaps and install weatherstripping to correct any issues.
3. Upgrade Light Switches to Dimmer Switches
Using less light powered by electricity is an easy way to cut utility costs. Consider installing dimmer switches in the areas of your home you spend the most time, and turn the lights on a low setting to conserve energy.
4. Install Ceiling Fans
While ceiling fans use electricity, the benefits of air circulation outweigh the electric usage. Run ceiling fans consistently to keep air distributed evenly throughout your home, making your HVAC system run more efficiently.
5. Enclose Your Crawlspace
One of the best ways to increase energy efficiency is by completely closing off your crawlspace with a service like Complete CrawlSpace. This could save you up to 18% on utility bills and offers other home-healthy benefits like mold growth prevention and pest control.
6. Keep Sunlight Out
While most of us love a lot of natural light coming into our homes, that sunlight heats up the house and makes HVAC systems work extra hard to keep it cool. During sunniest hours (12-4 ) keep curtains closed to cover windows or consider installing shutters, blinds or shades to help cut down on sunlight exposure.
7. Change HVAC Filter Once a Month
A lot of people forget to change their filter regularly which increases utility costs. Change your filter out about every 30 days to keep your HVAC system running efficiently.
8. Upgrade Your Appliances
While this will cost more out of pocket initially, the long term savings on energy bills will be worth the investment. Energy Star-rated appliances perform more efficiently, using less energy to perform the same functions as your old appliances. And you can always upgrade one at a time to spread the cost out over time!
9. Wash & Dry Better
When washing clothes or other laundry, use cold water cycles when possible and only wash full loads. If you’re using the dryer, make sure you clean the lint trap after every load; this maximizes your dryer’s efficiency so it doesn’t have to work as hard or long to dry laundry. It’s also a good idea to scrub the lint trap with soap water once every month or so to remove lint build-up. For even more energy savings, take advantage of the warm air outside and line dry your laundry instead of running the dryer.
10. Update Old Power Strips
Electronics in your home are using power (and increasing your utility bills!) even when they’re not being used. To avoid this, replace power strips with surge protectors that automatically turn off power to electronics or devices not in use.