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Energy Efficiency: 9 Tips To Save Money On Your Home Power Bill

Tips for Better Energy Efficiency

Power bills are a real pain in the neck. Every month they come in the mail, and every month they seem to grow. But what if you could make that bill shrink back down to a manageable size? It only takes a few small adjustments in your home to save big. Here are some of the easiest things you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Tip 1: Seal Air Leaks

Keep climate controlled air in and save more than 10% on your power bill by sealing the gaps and cracks around doors, windows, wiring, and plumbing. Buy door sweeps for the ones that open outside. Fill in cracks around frames (both door and window) with caulk. Reinforce windows with weatherstripping and window film. It’s not just windows and doors, too– expanding foam sealants fill in gaps around electrical wiring as well as plumbing. Pipes that enter your house through exterior walls leak most. Finally, seal in where you may not expect. Exterior light switches and wall sockets let air out. Fitted insulation pads fit behind the switch plates and close that gap.

Energy Efficiency Tip 2: Close off Your Chimney

If your home has an open chimney, it sucks warm air out and lets cold air in. A lit fireplace drains about 24,000 cubic feet of heated air, making your furnace work harder for nothing. If you never use your chimney, close it off to seal your home and save money. If you can’t give up nights sitting around the hearth, stabilize your home’s environment by partially opening a window in the room the chimney resides. Then, close the door to the room before lighting the fire. This keeps the rest of the house heated by the furnace while the fireplace warms you. Finally, close the chimney’s damper when not in use. It’s literally a big tunnel to the outside your air escapes through.

Energy Efficiency Tip 3: Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Simply investing in energy-efficient light bulbs for your home saves up to 80% on energy costs. Energy-efficient bulbs include light emitting diodes (LEDs), compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and halogen incandescents. Stores carry bulbs in a wide range of light levels and even colors for your home. They save you money in more way than one– energy efficient light bulbs last 3-25 times longer than traditional incandescents, so you buy them less.

Energy Efficiency Tip 4: Cook Cautiously

Your kitchen is one of the most energy-sucking rooms in the house. If it is in your budget, invest in a new, energy efficient convection oven. A convection oven uses about 20% less electricity than conventional ovens. Convection ovens are better because they force hot air to circulate, making it possible to cook food at a lower temperature. If you can’t buy a new oven right now, start placing food on the top rack of your conventional oven so food cooks faster. Also, microwave ovens use 80% less energy, so replace the oven with the microwave whenever possible. Finally, when cooking stovetop, place pans on matching size heating elements to preserve heat.

Energy Efficiency Tip 5: Blackout Curtains

About 10-25% of thermal energy loss escapes through your windows. Prevent heat loss with blackout curtains for your home. Black out curtains block light–and heat– from affecting your home’s climate. They keep heat out during the summer, so your air conditioner doesn’t work too hard. Additionally, they trap heat indoors throughout the winter for a cozier home. Blackout curtains reduce the amount of energy loss through the windows, so your utility bill costs less.

Energy Efficiency Tip 6: Invest in a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats learn from your family’s preferences within the first few days of ownership. The technology uses that intelligence to program a heating and cooling schedule that keeps you comfortable but doesn’t waste energy. They also help you save big. Studies found homes with smart thermostats save up to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. The savings add up so quickly; a smart thermostat pays for itself in a couple of years.

Energy Efficiency Tip 7: Unplug

It’s simple: unplug your unused appliances and chargers, and you save up to 8% of energy loss. Keeping things plugged in draws standby energy from your home. Prevent useless energy loss by taking the time to unplug things when not in use. An easy solution includes power strips. A power strip allows you to turn off multiple appliances with the flick of a switch.

Energy Efficiency Tip 8: Turn off the Computer

Contrary to popular belief, screen savers do not save energy. Your computer or laptop still uses energy on that slideshow of family photos. Approximately 3% of American energy consumption comes from computers. Turn off your computer completely when you are done using it to save money on power bills.

Energy Efficiency Tip 9: Keep it clean

Change air filters and remove dust from vents to make sure your heating and cooling systems perform at their optimal level. By promoting good airflow, clean vents assist your home climate system in pushing air either up or down, depending on needs. Replacing air filters keeps your heating and cooling system in tip-top shape so it doesn’t work too hard.

For more information on energy efficiency and what you can do to lower the cost of your power bill, contact Suncoast today.

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