If you are responsible for paying the bills in your household, you know how expensive utility bills can be- especially during the winter.
When was the last time you audited your energy use?
Energy bills are one of those things most of us pay, but never really look into or understand.
We won’t keep you in the dark (pun intended!) any longer. Here are a few simple ways you can cut down on your energy use and save some money just in time for the holidays.
When Can You Do-It-Yourself?
• Audit Your Energy Bill
Before you can reduce your energy consumption you must have an idea of how much you currently use.
Step one is to do your homework.
This will give you a base line to judge your results and help you budget as well.
We suggest designating a notebook or spreadsheet for recording utility expenses and improvements to your home.
Refer back to your records as you make changes in your home.
• Inspect the ‘Envelope’ of Your Home
Step two is to identify air leaks or problem areas in your home.
Simply light a candle or stick of incense and walk along the exterior walls in your home. Pay close attention near windows and doors.
Note areas with air drafts so you can go back and seal them later.
• Seal the Air Leaks in Your Home
Step three is simply to go back through your home and use a caulk gun to seal around windows. Then repair or replace any damaged or worn weather stripping along exterior doors.
• Audit and Adjust the Temperature of Your Appliances
Which brings us to step four- one most homeowners overlook is to audit the temperature of your major appliances.
Ideally, your refrigerator should remain between 37-40 degrees, and your freezer should stay around 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Setting either any colder than this, and you’re wasting money.
If your water heater is set too high, you risk dangerous burns and wasted energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you will save 3-5% in energy costs for each 10-degree reduction in water temperature.
We recommend setting your water heater to 120 degrees- 20 degrees less than most factory settings.
When Should You Call in a Pro?
• To Tune Up Your Furnace
Routinely replacing your air filter on a monthly basis is one of the best things you can do on your own to keep your furnace operating at its peak efficiency.
The next best thing is scheduling an annual tune-up for your furnace.
Utilize this time to consult with your technician about the efficiency of your system. Depending upon the age of your furnace now, you may benefit from upgrading to more energy efficient equipment.
• To Inspect the Air Ducts in Your Home
Dirty or leaking ductwork can cost you in poor air quality and higher energy bills.
An Indoor Air Quality Professional can assess the condition of your ductwork, identify and seal leaks- and save you even more energy.
We just so happen to know a few professional technicians who would be happy to help. We hope to hear from you soon.