Supplying your home with electricity, water, and gas is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Take advantage of these five energy-saving ideas to lower your utility bills and save money.
Insulate Your Attic
Ample attic insulation prevents cooled and heated air from escaping. The average home loses about 30% of its air-conditioned or heated air every year, costing homeowners thousands of dollars.
You can install fiberglass insulation yourself; it’s relatively inexpensive and there are hundreds of online tutorials that will teach you how to do it. If you’d rather save time, have professionals blow in foam insulation.
Add a Second Water Meter
You’re charged twice for every gallon of water you use. Utility companies charge to pump water into your home and again to pump it out and into the sewer. If you use a lot of water to irrigate your grass or fill your pool, you’re wasting a lot of money every year.
Most utility companies will install a second meter that only measures outdoor water usage. Since you’re not paying to have water pumped into the sewer system, it’ll reduce your water bills. Installation costs several hundred dollars, but it should pay for itself in a few years.
Service Your HVAC Unit
A regularly-serviced HVAC unit is more efficient and will last longer than one that isn’t adequately maintained. Proper air conditioning repair will decrease your utility bills, and high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment will provide even greater savings.
Set Your Water Heater to 120 Degrees or Lower
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your water heater at 140 degrees costs you an extra forty-five dollars on average every year. 140-degree water is also hazardous, especially if young children live in the house.
For greater savings, install an energy jacket and turn your water heater off when you go out of town.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Upgrading your appliances to newer, more environmentally-friendly units can lower your utility and tax bills. Many states offer rebates for installing energy-efficient appliances. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, a site operated by North Carolina State and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to see what rebates your area offers.
Keep Your Refrigerator Full
Food serves as insulation, so keeping your refrigerator full decreases the amount of power it needs to maintain a cold temperature.
Cleaning the condenser coils, drain hole, and drip pan every few months will keep it running well, and swabbing the gaskets with vinegar will help prevent mildew.
Don’t let utility bills bust your budget. Take control by implementing these five energy-saving tips.