Most American homeowners spend well over $2,000 each year on utilities. While heating and cooling consumes the biggest chunk of this, there are many small steps you can take that will add up to some significant dollars.
Shorten showers to less than 10 minutes and install a low-flow shower head to increase energy savings. Most shower heads typically use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. A low flow shower head can save over 8,000 gallons per year or $20 per month.
When an appliance fails, replace with Energy Star-rated appliances. Energy Star appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy than their counterparts do. There are Energy Star appliances in every category; including light fixtures and ceiling fans.
Keep freezers full to reduce energy consumption. You can add jugs of water to take up any unused space between shopping trips. Recycle any older refrigerators to save up to $23 per month.
Don’t pre-rinse dishes and use the energy saver setting on the dishwasher. Omit using the dry setting and allow dishes to air dry to save even more.
Maintain Heating & Cooling Systems
Heating and cooling your home consumes up to 50 percent of a homeowner’s overall utility cost; therefore, it is important to keep them working at peak capacity. Changing air filters regularly will put less stress on the system and help it to last longer and save energy. Regular maintenance by Xpert Home Services will ensure it is working at peak efficiency. Install a programmable thermostat to help save money when you are away from home or sleeping and save up to $15 per month.
Replace all your light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs (halogen, LED or compact fluorescents). This is the simplest of all ideas and really does make a difference. Even if you begin and only change the 5 most used bulbs in your home, can save about $9 per month, according to Energy Star. Start with the kitchen, bath and front porch.
Install an Energy Star porch light with a motion sensor so the light only comes on at night when motion is detected.
Clothes Washer / Dryer
Wash only full loads of laundry and use cold water to save about $9 per month. Use detergents made for cold water washing. Heating the water is about 90% of the energy used by the washer.
Hang clothes to dry outside to get that fresh air smell. Save time on ironing by removing clothes from the dryer before they are completely dry.
Caulk / Weather Strip
Apply caulk and weather stripping around windows and doors to eliminate air leakage and save up to $13 per month.
Make sure you have adequate insulation in the attic, walls and floors. This can save up to $16 a month. Spray insulation can be used to add insulation in hard to reach areas. Install outlet gaskets to seal around electrical outlets.
Install a door sweep for your garage and entry doors to create a seal and eliminate air leakage.
Fix any leaking faucets in baths, kitchen, laundry and outside hose connections. Water is not free and heated water is even more costly. One drip per second will add up to 1,661 gallons wasted in a year. A leaky faucet can cost over $6 per month.
Lower the temperature on the water heater to 120 degrees to save money, about $9 per month, and reduce the risk of scalding. Insulate the hot water heater with an insulated “blanket” to retain the heat. This is especially effective when the unit is located in an unconditioned space.