5 Ways To Put a Serious Dent in Your Energy Bills
Your Mexican beach vacation was great, but, man, those margaritas sure can put on the pounds. It’s been two months, and you’re still carrying around an extra ten despite a new running routine and a lot of kale. So why isn’t your weight dropping?
It’s like that with energy bills, too. According to a recent study, 89% of us believe we’re doing the right things to lower energy costs, and almost half of us think our homes are already energy efficient. Yet, 59% of us say our bills are going up, not down, despite our efforts to economize.
The most important thing you need to know is what improvements will make the biggest difference to lower your bills. There are five, and the good news is that they’re really, seriously, cheap.
The 5 Things That Really Work to Cut Energy Costs:
1. Caulk and seal air leaks. Buy a few cans of Great Stuff and knock yourself out over a weekend to seal around leaks. Leaks will commonly be found where there are penetrations into your home:
- Plumbing lines
- Electric wires
- Recessed lighting
Savings: Up to $227 a year — even more if you add or upgrade your insulation.
2. Hire a pro to seal ductwork and give your HVAC a tune-up. Leaky ducts are a common energy-waster.
Savings: Up to $412 a year.
3. Program your thermostat. Around 40% of consumers admit they don’t program their thermostat for energy savings.
Savings: Up to $180 a year.
4. Replace all your light bulbs with LEDs. They have come down in price, making them even more cost effective.
Savings: $75 a year or more by replacing your five most frequently used bulbs with Energy Star-rated models.
5. Reduce the temperature on your water heater. Set your tank heater to 120 degrees — not the 140 degrees most are set to out of the box. Also wrap an older water heater and the hot water pipes in insulating material to save on heat loss.
Savings: $12 to $30 a year for each 10-degree reduction in temp.
Bonus Tip for More Savings
Your utility may have funds available to help pay for energy improvement. Contact them directly, or visit DSIRE, a database of federal, state, local, and utility rebates searchable by state. Energy Star has a discount and rebate finder, too.
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