Bela's Blog October 17, 2022

10 Ways to Save Energy and Lower Utility Bills

Fall is here, and as temperatures starts to drop, the price of electricity, natural gas and oil are set to rise, experts say.  With the higher prices and the winter months ahead, here are some tips to help reduce the energy you use and cut down your bill!

1/ Turn Down Your Water Heater

Your showers can be warm, but they shouldn’t be scalding. Manually reducing your water heater’s temperature to 120°F (down from the typical 140) can save you up to 11 percent in water heating costs; cutting showers in half can save up to 33 percent.

2/ Replace Your Furnace Filters

Changing furnace filters isn’t just about clean air: Clogged material can force your unit to work harder, raising energy costs. Replace the filter and opt for a furnace inspection by a professional to make sure it’s operating at optimal efficiency.

3/Turn Down Your Thermostat

You’d be surprised at how comfortable you can be with your furnace set at 68 degrees as opposed 70 or 71. While it might mean opting for long sleeves over a t-shirt, you’ll save roughly 5 percent on room heating costs. Get a smart thermostat, this device can  be scheduled to automatically adjust to lower temperatures when you are asleep or way.

4/Close Doors and Vents in Unused Rooms

Got a guest room you rarely use? Close the vent coming from the furnace. Rooms that don’t need to be heated can be sealed off, so the heat gets redirected to occupied parts of the home. Also, shut all doors in rooms not being used. This will prevent you from paying to heat uninhabited space.

5/Check Your Attic Insulation

Attics should have a minimum of 11 inches of fiberglass insulation. Without it, you’re going to lose heat through the upper level of the home. If you haven’t put down insulation, be sure to seal up any cracks in the attic floor first.

6/Turn On Your Ceiling Fan

They’re not just there to keep you cool in the summer. Keeping a fan running clockwise will push the warm air that’s collected near the ceiling back into the room.

7/ Maintain Your Doors and Windows

Peeling weather-stripping and ill-fitting doors and windows can let in drafts, allowing your home’s heat to drift outdoors. Replace weatherstripping as needed and adjust thresholds so no cold air is getting in through gaps. You can also use plastic window kits to help insulate from leak

8/Open—Then Close—The Drapes

Let the sun if during the day, sunlight is a free way to warm up a room, providing you’ve opened drapes and blinds to let it do its thing. When the sun sets, close the drapes to help retain the heat collected during the day.

9/ Turn off and Unplug what you aren’t using

You can start by turning off lights when you aren’t in the room or when it’s light enough outside to rely solely on natural light. You can also save money by unplugging appliances you aren’t using. Phantom energy, the energy your appliances use when they’re plugged in but not turned on, can cost an average of $100 per year.

10/ Chooses LED Lights for your Home and Decorations

Lighting accounts for around 15% of an average home’s electricity use, and the average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting. if you are still using incandescent light bulbs, switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. If you’re planning an elaborate Christmas light show this holiday season, consider using LED lights. LED lights are the most energy-efficient lighting option currently available. They use 75% less energy than standard incandescent lights and last 25 times longer.

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