Energy Upgrades You’ll Notice on Your Bills
There is a lot of talk these days about saving energy as climate change continues to increase. In addition to helping the environment though, did you know that improving energy efficiency also saves you cash year-round? Improve your home energy use and watch your bills decrease by following these tips.
Windows and Doors
If you live in an old house with the original windows and doors, they may be letting cool air in in the winter or out in the summer, making your furnace or air-conditioning run double time. Replace or re-seal your windows and doors to keep your house temperate for less money.
Many old appliances use more energy than the latest, low-energy options. Heating systems that are more than 15-20 years old are also often much less efficient than newer versions. It may cost a lot to replace furnaces, boilers and air-conditioners, but you will see the returns on your energy bills.
Add an extra layer of insulation to your attic, walls, basement and crawlspaces to keep your home warm or cold, depending on the season. If the room in which your thermostat is found is poorly insulated, your heating system may be working hard just to compensate for that area.
There are many ways to upgrade your water systems to make your home more energy-efficient. Try:
- Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures: relatively cheap and easy to install and will use much less water and energy than standard fixtures.
- Tankless Water Heaters: instead of making your tank heat water to have on reserve at all times, get a system that heats only as you need it.
- High-Efficiency Water Tank: If you do not want to go tankless, just about any upgrade to your water tank will save you money and energy as models have become much more efficient over the years.
How much you’ll save depends on your local electricity rates, according to energy sage, but there is no doubt that getting solar panels installed will save you money in the long run. By making your own energy you use less of your town’s supply, and sometimes you can give back to the grid to make a little money for energy production.
Getting new lighting fixtures or switching to LED or CFL bulbs can improve usage dramatically. Also, consider adding natural light to your house using skylights and bigger windows to reduce your use of artificial light.
Many large appliances are found in the kitchen: the fridge, dishwasher, oven, microwave. Invest in the most current energy-efficient models to make sure you are not over-spending while prepping your food.
Your laundry room is also an energy-eating zone, especially if you are using old models of washers and dryers that are less energy-efficient than their current-day counterparts. Be sure to wash your clothes in cold water to keep from spending too much on heating, and keep an eye on peak-times so you can avoid the most expensive times of day to wash your clothes.