As energy costs have risen over the years, so too have household utility bills. Utility bills can be especially high during the winter, when the heater is on much of the time. However, there are some relatively simple things you can do to reduce your energy expenditures. Some of these things help more than others, but every little bit counts!
- Take shorter showers. Showers represent most of a family’s hot water use. Depending on how big your family is and how often they take showers, you might be able to reduce water heating costs by 50 percent by cutting shower time from 30 minutes to 10 minutes.
- Turn down the thermostat and water heater. Turning down the thermostat just 1 or 2 degrees can result in substantial energy savings for your household of as much as $180 per year. Similarly, turning your water heater down from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can reduce your water heating costs by up to 10 percent.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Can’t remember to turn down that thermostat? Install a programmable thermostat that will turn dial down the temperature for you at night and when you’re away from the home.
- Fix drafty windows. Do this with caulking or weatherization kits, or have new energy-efficient windows installed. Although new windows can be expensive upfront, they will eventually pay for themselves by lowering your heating and cooling costs.
- Increase insulation. Improving the insulation in your walls, baseboards, attic and other areas can pay off in big energy savings – reducing your heating costs by as much as 20 percent.
- Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. Savings will be especially pronounced if you replace an old, inefficient refrigerator, washer or dryer. Look for ENERGY STAR-certified models.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, may cost more than standard incandescent bulbs, but they last years longer and use much less energy. LED bulbs are another energy-efficient option.
- Replace your furnace – or at least clean it! If your furnace is 15 years old or older, you may be able to save as much as $200 per year by replacing it with a smaller, energy-efficient model. It is also important to have your furnace serviced annually and the filter changed every few months in order to keep it operating at peak efficiency.
To schedule a furnace servicing or discuss the installation of energy-saving appliances like a programmable thermostat or new furnace, contact Thompson Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We’ll help you shave down that high energy bill in no time!
Written and published by Thompson Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.