As temperatures continue to melt thermostats, the heat is wreaking havoc on your energy bills. When temperatures rise, so does use of air conditioning and ceiling fans, but these certainly aren’t the only culprits. Appliances and electronics, large and small combined , do much to eat into your wallet. Surprisingly, a good percentage of waste isn’t from use, but rather, little cracks and crevices. While you’re trying to stay cool and comfortable, your bank account dwindles, and now, you’ve decided that it’s time to do something about it.
7 Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Costs Down
From June through August, the average household will spend about $400 per month on utility costs alone, the United States Energy Information Administration estimates. During this period, your central air conditioning system will account for about 50 percent of that figure, or, perhaps a bit more.
You hopefully replacing your filters anyway, since clogged air filters often lead to air-conditioning units and other items breaking down. Even if that weren’t the case, an unchanged air filter means the air-conditioning unit, dryer or what have you will work harder or run longer, and – you guessed it – use more energy. —U.S. News and World Report
Keep in mind, this doesn’t include additional monthly recurring expenses, such as housing, auto loans, credit cards, student loans, and other obligations. To cut down on what you’re spending, you’ll first have to learn where it is you’re unwittingly losing money. Here are seven tips to keep your home energy costs down:
- Seal all those leaks. An eye-popping 10 to 25 percent of all your utility costs are literally flying right out your windows and doors. Leaks in the caulking, weatherstripping, and more will cost you plenty. So, check every pane, exterior door, and re-seal them as necessary.
- Cook outside when possible. When you pop dinner into the oven, you think that you’re saving by not eating out. However, that handy cooking appliance is undermining your money savings by producing a lot of extra heat–heat your air conditioner will wrestle to cool.
- Upgrade to energy star appliances. Speaking of appliances, there’s a reason you see those bright colored stickers on new appliances at the store. Those the basics haven’t changed much, technological advancements makes these appliances energy savvy, saving you money.
- Get that cooling system serviced. Just like you change the oil in your car, change out your home air conditioning filter, your central A/C needs occasional attention. Have it serviced when it’s being used the most to make it run at its very best.
- Turn off all those electronics and small appliances at night. We plug-in all types of gizmos and simply forget about them. While you’re sleeping, they’re quietly working, draining energy and running-up costs. Kitchen counter appliances, desktop computers, cell phones, and more ought to be unplugged.
- Adjust your water heater temperature. If your water heater is set above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it can not only scald, but waste energy. An estimated $31 to $61 is wasted every year on standby heat loss, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for appliance set at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Last, but certainly not least is to have your insulation and ductwork checked. Insulation degrades over time, especially in hot climates, and, duct work can become damaged by pest, overuse, and debris. These cause quite a bit of unnecessary waste but have excellent returns when functioning optimally and properly.