The average monthly energy bill in the U.S. is around $181, how does yours measure up? It’s shocking to many homeowners how much they save just by making simple, energy-efficient changes! Here are four projects that could help you save:
- Close your fireplace flue. This fix only takes about five minutes and could help you save up to 10% or more! Leaving the fireplace flue open is akin to leaving a giant open window in your ceiling. To easily close it without getting your hands dirty, attach a metal pull chain.
- Reset your hot water heater. Many water heaters are set to 140 degrees, so most people use a mix of hot and cold water to regulate the temperature. However, this consumes a massive amount of energy and water. Instead, consider setting the water heater to 123 degrees, which is still hot enough to kill bacteria. Additionally, you can consider turning your water heater way down or completely off while on vacation. Older model water heaters may also require insulation. If the outside is warm to the touch, then heat is escaping and insulation may make it more efficient.
- Replace power strips with “smart” power strips. Think about all the appliances and electronics that are all plugged in, even when not in use. These “energy vampires” account for $10 billion of wasted energy costs per year. Smart power strips sense when these devices are not in use and shuts itself off!
- Shrink-wrap your windows. If energy-efficient windows aren’t in your budget, shrink-wrapping them during the most extreme-weather months is another option! Wrapping your windows during times of the year when you don’t use them anyway could save up to 20%! Look for shrink-wrap that’s at least 9 millimeters thick and is fire-retardant. If you’re worried about aesthetics, only wrap windows that are hidden behind curtains or in rooms not often used. Additionally, do not wrap any window that could be a fire escape.
Home Energy Audit
You can save money on high electricity costs by doing a home energy audit! A professional home energy audit is the best way to determine if your home is losing energy, but a DIY audit is a great place to start! Make sure to keep a checklist and notes on areas that you have already inspected or problems that you find. Remember, just because your home is relatively new doesn’t mean there aren’t any opportunities to save on energy costs! From sealing air leaks to changing light bulbs to inspecting insulation, there are likely at least a few small changes that can be made!
Click here for more information on exactly what to look for and explanations of problems you may find. You’ll also find tips on how to create a whole-house plan to fix the issues you find! However, if you decide this is a job for a professional there are plenty of resources to help you select the right auditor!