January 10, is “National Cut Your Energy Costs” Day. This day encourages you to take a look at your life and home and find ways to reduce energy costs while saving on your energy bills. Not just for focusing on the winter months, this is your chance to address the year ahead and find out how to make your energy bills more affordable all year long.
Here are some ways you can cut your energy costs:
- Schedule an appointment to get your heating system serviced. Did you know that tuning up your heating system can save you up to 10 percent? Remember to have your system serviced at least twice a year. If your furnace is old, replace it with an energy-efficient model.
- Price the cost of installing a programmable thermostat. It’s so easy to turn on the heat and forget to turn it off when you go to bed or leave the home. A programmable thermostat will let you set times and days that the temperature will be adjusted, keeping your home at the perfect temperature without wasting any money. If your thermostat is not programmable, set a reminder to turn them down at night or when you are leaving the house for a long period of time.
- Purchase new energy-efficient appliances. Old and inefficient appliances such as washers, dryers and refrigerators can result in some extremely high bills. Replacing these may save you money in the long run. Keep your new appliances clean and well-maintained to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.
- Weatherproof your home and check the insulation. Old or inefficient insulation can result in some pretty extreme variances in what it takes to heat and cool your home.
- Replace old windows with new energy-efficient windows. If you have double-panned windows and the seals are cracked, it’s time to replace those as well.
- Use solar heat if possible. Many new houses are incorporating solar heat into their designs.
- Turn off lights when leaving a room. This one seems easy, but too often we forget to hit the switch when we walk out of a room.
- Replace incandescent lightbulbs with CFL or LED lights for an easy and affordable way to save on electricity. Not only do they last longer, but they also require less energy to run.
- Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when fully loaded to save on water and electricity.
- Lower your hot water heater temperature.
- Take shorter showers.
- Unplug unused appliances—even if they are not in use, they are pulling energy from the home. Use a power strip to plug in electronics and turn it off when they’re not in use. This cuts off “phantom” usage and can really save you a bundle.
- Carpool or use mass transit whenever possible.
Just a little bit of effort can result in major savings—maybe even enough to pay for a vacation, so get started today!