Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Creative Ways to Save On Energy Costs

Are your summertime electricity bills astronomical? Check out our list of 10 creative ways to trim your bill in the summer and all year ’round!

1.) Plant trees 
If your home has lots of west-facing windows, you’re likely getting loads of sunlight each afternoon, and that’s making your AC unit work harder. Lower your energy consumption by planting trees or large shrubs in front of some of those windows.

2.) Go solar 
If you can’t afford to buy solar panels, consider leasing them instead. You’ll be given a set monthly fee which makes budgeting easier year-round. Also, the monthly payment is often 15% less than the local utility rate.

3.) Rethink your roof 
Is your roof dressed in black for 90-degree weather? By installing a sunlight-reflecting “cool roof,” you can reduce your roof’s temperature by up to 60 degrees. This will trim your AC use by as much as 20%.

4.) Keep your cool 
Large, heat-generating appliances can warm up a room quickly. Consider running your washing machine and dishwasher at night or in the early morning when it’s cooler outside.

5.) Lighten up 
Replace your light bulbs! By swapping out just five incandescent light bulbs in a high-traffic area of your home to CFL or LED bulbs, you can save $65 on annual energy costs.

6.) Seal all leaks 
If your home isn’t a new build, you likely have leaking windows and doors or shrinking caulking. Structural walls of houses also tend to shift with time. To check for leaks, run the match test. Shut down your AC unit and close all doors and windows. Hold a lit match near the windows and exterior doors of your home. If the flame moves, that will indicate an airflow, which means a leaky seal.

If you’ve got leaks, reseal your windows by weatherstripping the problem areas. A leaky door may need a door sweep replacement. Just peel off the old one and bring it to a home improvement shop so they can help you find a new one that fits your door.

7.) Get smart! 
By installing a smart thermostat, your home will be programmed to cool off at exactly the times you need.

8.) Pull out the plug 
Up to 75% of energy consumption by home electronics happens when they’re turned off. Save big by pulling out the plugs when you’re done with your electronics.

9.) Fire up the grill 
An oven cranked up to the standard 350° makes your AC unit work harder. Use your grill for dinner prep. You’ll keep the heat out and enjoy the sunshine at the same time!

10.) Laundry smarts 
About 90% of the energy used when doing laundry comes from heating the water. When possible, choose the cold setting on your washing machine. Hanging your clothes to dry will also trim your bill. If you must use the dryer, stick some tennis balls in there to make it more efficient and finish faster.

Your Turn: Do you have an energy saving hack that keeps your electric bill manageable? Share it with us in the comments section below!

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