There’s nothing more frustrating than paying a huge bill for your energy usage. It can be even more aggravating if you’re trying to cut costs by turning off lights and appliances but don’t know how else to lower your energy bill.
Luckily, there are several things that homeowners can do to keep their energy bills from soaring. Here are seven ways to save on heating and cooling costs:
Insulate Around Doors and Windows
It is estimated that 90 percent of homes in the U.S. are inefficiently insulated, with cracks, small holes, and gaps releasing air, and increasing energy bills. Air conditioning and heating amount to almost 50 to 70 percent of the total energy expenditure of a household.
To prevent heat loss, you should insulate the most common areas of your home that are exposed to the elements. These include around doors and windows, the attic, basement or crawl space, and other places where there is not adequate insulation. Insulating around doors and windows:
To ensure that your home stays at a comfortable temperature during winter months, it’s important to seal any cracks or gaps in doorways or windows with caulk. This will help keep cold air from seeping into these spaces and keep your family warm inside their house.
You can purchase foam or fiberglass insulation for this purpose if you’d like. An even better solution that will last longer than caulk alone (though it will be more expensive).
Replace Lightbulbs With Energy-Efficient Bulbs
One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bill is through a simple swap: replace your old incandescent lightbulbs with new LED ones.
That’s right. You’ll be able to have all the benefits of a cool, efficient light source while cutting down on your power consumption at home.
You might be wondering why this is such a big deal. Well, let’s break it down for you:
The cost of lighting has been falling dramatically over recent years as LED technology has improved and become more popular (and plentiful). This means that even though LED bulbs are pricier upfront than their incandescent counterparts, they’re often less expensive overall once you factor in how many hours you use them each year and how much money that saves on your energy bill.
Adjust the Temperature on Your Heater
Adjust the temperature on your heater down a few degrees in the winter and up a few degrees in the summer. For example, if you were to lower your thermostat from 68°F to 66°F during the winter, you’d save an estimated 2% per degree of cooling (or 10% overall). In the summertime, raising it by one degree can save you just as much.
These small changes can add up when multiplied over months and years. The Department of Energy estimates that if every household in America set their thermostats back 5°F during peak hours on hot days, we could save up to $13 billion each year.
Get an Energy Audit Done on Your Home
If you want to know how much energy your home uses, hire an energy auditor. He or she will check for air leaks and insulation problems and will also be able to give you advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Some people find these audits pricey. The average audit costs around $300, but it leads to significant savings on utility bills. A residential building can save up to 15 to 25 percent in energy bills through an energy audit, which paybacks in 1-4 years.
Use Solar Screens Instead of Air Conditioners
You can reduce your energy bills by making sure your air conditioner achieves the same cooling effect while spending less energy.
How do you do that?
There are many ways of insulating your home to keep it cool during summer and warm during winter. One thing that’s becoming increasingly popular is solar screens. Solar screens can help keep out unwanted heat and glare while allowing light through.
A solar screen keeps your home cool by blocking UV rays by 65 to 90 percent. Also, it blocks visibility by only 15 to 40 percent, depending on the fabric you select. Solar screens are available in different colors to match your home’s exterior or an accent color that you might want. In addition, they come in different sizes and materials to fit any window style or need.
Spend Less Time in Shower
One of the easiest ways to lower your energy bill is by conserving water. A huge part of this can be achieved simply by how you take your showers. While it may seem like a good idea to take a long bath when you’re feeling tired or sore, it uses more water and energy than taking shorter showers.
A five-minute shower will save almost twice as much energy as an eight-minute bath and can lead to savings of up to 20 percent on water bills. If you’re worried about missing out on some relaxation time after work, try turning off the hot water instead of cutting out the length of your shower altogether. This way, you still get a warm soak while saving money.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Another way to save on your energy bill is to upgrade your appliances when you can afford to do so. Before buying any appliance, be sure to check its energy efficiency rating on the label. If possible, try not to buy an appliance that uses more than 1 kilowatt-hour per year (kWh/yr).
Another option is looking into used appliances or refurbished ones if they’re within your budget and purchasing them instead. This will help save money on your electricity bill while still giving you the same product at a much lower price point than new models would cost.
We hope this article has helped you learn about how to keep the energy bills of your home from soaring. If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this, it’s that when it comes to being more aware of where your energy is going and how it affects your wallet, the first step is to take a look at what is happening inside your walls.
Once you know where those leaks are coming from, then you can start thinking about how to fix them.