If you have an older home, the chances are that it isn’t very energy efficient. Saving money on your utility bills and reducing your energy footprint isn’t just about saving money but also being socially responsible.
Even if your home was built in the last few years chances are you still have opportunities to improve the efficiency of your home. Below we explore ten ways you can save. You will find some of these as easy fixes, while others may require more work and investments.
Replace Light Bulbs with LED
One of the easiest things you can do to reduce your electric bills is to replace every single lightbulb in your home with energy efficient LED lightbulbs. The upfront costs are not cheap because LED bulbs are more expensive; however, LED’s use 75-80% less energy, which can add up to as much as $75 per month in savings. Plus, the average LED lightbulbs last for more than 15 years.
What is great about this specific energy savings is that anyone can change a lightbulb. There is no need to hire a contractor and pay for installation. All you really have to do is drive down to your local home improvement store and you can complete this project yourself.
Hands down the best way to cut your energy costs is to make your own energy by installing solar. Depending on where you live and the climate some electricity bills can skyrocket in the summer months. In desert communities its not uncommon to have a $800+ electric during those hot months.
Installing a solar system on your home can be expensive and can easily cost more than $20,000. However, lease options and rebates make this easier and more affordable for the average homeowner.
Corey Haywood of HDM Electrical explains, “Any time you can purchase your solar yourself you will come out ahead. There are plenty of government rebates and tax advantages that make going solar more affordable than most people think.”
Traditional water heaters have to continually keep the water heated, which requires more energy compared to the best tankless water heaters. According to Energy Star, you can save about $100 per year by switching to tankless. What is excellent about installing a tankless water heater is theoretically you will never run out of hot water.
Another considerable benefit is tankless heaters have a longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters, and they require less storage space. Needing less storage space can come in handy, especially if you are remodeling your home.
An HVAC system is what provides heating and air conditioning to your home. If your system is older, there is a good change you can save some serious money by upgrading to a more efficient newer model. Energy efficiency is referred to as the SEER rating and is similar to what an MPG is for a car, but SEER is used for your heating and air conditioning.
Nowadays a good SEER rating is 14+ with most HVAC companies installing 14-16 SEER units. If you have a system that is over ten years old, you can see savings of up to 43% by upgrading to a 14 SEER model.
Insulation for Attic
In the winter months your home can lose most of it’s heating as it seeps up through the attic of your home. Same can be said for air conditioning unit in the summer months. By adding insulation to your attic you could save as much as $600 per year by reducing the energy needed to maintain the desired temperatures within your home.
When people think about making their home more energy efficient, they seldom think about artificial grass. First, you will save tons of money each month on your water bill and in some areas of the country this is needed. But there are also the money saved in upkeep costs. You no longer need to maintain your grass which cuts down on electrical or gas powered tools used to maintain your yard.
When your windows aren’t sealed correctly your homes heating and cooling slowly leaks out. This causes an increase in energy usage to maintain the temperature. A quick and simple fix is to ensure you seal the windows and doors by installing weather stripping and using caulking around the windows. In many cases this is something just about any homeowner can perform themselves.
Older model appliances can be a real significant drain on your home energy usage. Appliances like refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washing machine, dyers, and microwaves can suck your pockets dry. Of course, if they are all older, it could be racking up the energy costs, but the appliance that runs the most is your refrigerator.
Depending on how old your refrigerator is you could save up to $640 per year by replacing your old one with a new Energy Star rated one.
A smart thermostat is truly something every home should invest in. These next-generation thermostats learn the patterns of your family and help you become more energy efficient by only running the system when you need it. Additionally, they can be controlled via an app on your smart phone. This will give you extra control and help cool or heat your home just before your arrival.
When you need water for dishes or laundry, use cold water as much as possible. It is estimated that approximately 90% of the energy cost of running a washing machine is due to heating the water. If you continuously wash your clothes in hot/warm water by switching to cold, you would save $249 per year. Plus, this doesn’t mention the amount of CO2 emissions you can cut out and become more environmentally friendly.
While there are dozens of things, you can do to save money on your energy cost; some are simpler and cost-effective to implement than others. An excellent place to start is with your lightbulbs and ensuring your windows are sealed as these are not only easier to do but cheaper compared to some solutions.