Saving On Energy Costs In Your Home

Dated: October 28 2018

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Whether you own your home or rent, doing what you can to reduce the energy costs around your house, apartment, or condo can save you more money than you might think. The Department of Energy (DOE) reports the average American family spends around $1,300 per year on energy bills, including electric, gas, and water. Easy Ways to Keep Energy Costs DownUse proper insulation. Having the right insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%. When buying insulation look at the R-value, as this measures how well insulation resists the transfer of heat. The higher the R-value, the better insulated your home will be and the lower your energy costs. You may also want to check with your electric company, as many provide rebates for adding insulation. 

Keep your energy in:

  • Cracks, holes, and even just shoddy weather stripping on your windows could be letting the money you spend on energy slip right out the window (or the door). Make sure windows and doors are sealed and that no air is leaking out. You can test for free by holding an incense stick up to each seal on a windy day; if the smoke moves any direction but straight up, you may have a leak. If you do find a crack, have it repaired, or use weather stripping or inexpensive spray insulation foam. Also make sure to keep the damper closed if you have a fireplace and it’s not in use.

  • Don’t pay for heating and cooling you don’t use. Keeping your heater or A/C on when everyone is at work is a waste. You also might not need as much heating or cooling at night while you’re asleep. Keep your thermostat set where you need it at all times. This can be especially easy if you have a programmable thermostat that can be programmed for different temperatures at different times of the day. You may also look into “zoning” heating and cooling, so you’re not spending money on areas you don’t use often.

  • Reduce your heating and cooling dependence. Keeping the house at 70 degrees in the winter is nice, but it’s also a big expense. Consider buying blankets to keep you warm while you sleep and warm clothes to wear around the house to keep your heating costs down. For warm weather cooling, consider opening windows or using ceiling fans, as well as closing shades to keep the heat out.Use water wisely

  • Don’t water the lawn or wash your car at the hottest times of the day. Try watering your yard at night or early in the morning when temperatures are at their coolest. That way, you’re not wasting money on water that will simply evaporate before it’s really a use to your grass

  • ⦁Let your grass grow longer. Taller grass actually retains moisture better, so consider mowing your yard with a higher cut setting on your lawn mower.

  • Use native plants and landscaping. Native plants tend to take less water to grow—especially drought resistant plants like cacti. (They also help you save by reducing other costs, like fertilizer and pesticide, because they are naturally suited to the area.)

  • Use low-flow showerheads. This is an inexpensive way to save money on water. The good low-flow showerheads generally cost around $35 and you want a good one to avoid going back to the store if you’re disappointed with a low-quality head.Don’t let appliances make you overspend 

The Washer: 

  • Run clothing using the cold water cycle as much as possible. Make sure you’re not using more water than the load needs and that you use the right cycle to avoid washing for longer than your clothes require. Only wash towels once a week. When you buy a new washer, look for energy-efficient front-loading models designed to conserve power and/or water. 

The Dryer:

  • Clean your lint trap and vents often and check the hose to make sure lint isn’t accumulating—this will increase efficiency and extend the life of the dryer. When possible, consider hanging up clothes to dry. Always dry a full load, as drying just a few pieces actually takes longer and running an overstuffed load may take two runs. 

The Dishwasher:

  •  In almost any case, it’s actually cheaper to run a full load of dishes in the dishwasher than to wash the same amount of dishes by hand, so don’t avoid your dishwasher to try to save money. However, always run the dishwasher with a full load and avoid rinsing prior to loading unless absolutely necessary. If possible, run the dishwasher to wash only and then leave the door open to air dry or dry by hand. 

The Fridge:

  •  Make sure your refrigerator isn’t draining power, as old fridges tend to waste a large amount of energy; if you do buy a new fridge, go for an energy-efficient model. Keep the door closed as much as possible and keep a full fridge as much as possible—a full fridge actually runs more efficiently. 

The Water Heater:

  •  Make sure your water heater is not set to a higher temperature than your appliances require (check the manuals for your dishwasher and clothes washer). In general you can usually turn your heater down to 120 degrees. You can also wrap your unit in an insulation blanket to improve the efficiency. Replace old water heaters if you can as they drain power; when you buy a new one, consider getting a tankless water heater; they tend to be more efficient.

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Manuel Quiros

My name is Manny Quiros, I’m a real estate professional in the “Disney Area”, I have lived in this area since 1999 and have called this area my home and place my wife and I to raise our three wo....

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