When temperatures begin to dip, many homeowners start thinking about how much they spend on their energy bills. In colder climates, utility bills can double or even triple during the winter. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your monthly costs, here are a few tips to help you boost energy efficiency in your home.
Boost the Energy Efficiency of Your Heating System
A great way to start saving money is by having a technician perform regular maintenance on your heating system. If you have an older unit, talk to your HVAC professional about the pros and cons of installing a new system. An upgrade, though costly, will help you save money on heating and cooling your home year-round. Help your system run more efficiently by replacing the filters as recommended by the manufacturer, usually every 30 to 90 days.
Check the Insulation
The next step is to make sure all the rooms in your home are well-insulated. Insulation helps keep heat inside during cold months and outside during summer so that you save money on heating and cooling costs. Check the insulation in your attic and make sure it is adequate for the climate. Look for air leaks around windows or doors. Purchase an insulation kit from the local hardware store and seal cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather-stripping.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
When buying new appliances for your kitchen, opt for ENERGY STAR certified models to help reduce energy usage in your home. These appliances are much more efficient than their older counterparts and will help you save money.
Install Solar Panels
Installing a solar panel system is another great way to make your home more energy-efficient. Homeowners can install solar panels on their roofs or in the backyard, depending on how much space and sunlight is available. You’ll enjoy lower monthly power bills by generating electricity for your home on your own property.
Unplug Unused Appliances
Another way to make your home more energy-efficient is to unplug appliances that aren’t in use. Purchase power strips for entertainment systems, computer equipment, and small devices so you can easily turn them off when not in use.
Boost Energy Efficiency of Your Water Heater
Heating water for your home can be expensive. Many homes have water heaters set at 130 degrees or higher. It costs a lot to heat the water and keep it warm. Lower your water heater’s temperature setting to 120 degrees. You’ll still be able to enjoy a hot shower, but you’ll reduce the risk of scalds and lower your power bill.
Another way to save money on water heating is by installing an insulating blanket over your water heater. These are available at hardware and home improvement stores.