All homeowners want to keep their utility bill as low as possible. Energy savings can be tough during the winter when you want to keep the heat cranked all the way up. Fortunately, there are some very easy energy savings strategies that will keep you toasty, but it will also keep your bank account happy.
– One of the best strategies for saving money in your home is to make sure it is properly insulated. Proper insulation can keep the weather outside and the pleasant temperature that you want, inside. In addition, it will keep down your home’s energy cost.
– If you live in an old house, the building materials may have been designed before central heating and air conditioning, which means they are not optimized for energy savings. However, simply adding insulation to your attic can trim your utility bill a great deal. The best attic insulation is at least seven inches thick.
– It may seem too easy to be true, but sunlight can also help with energy savings. Even if it is cold outside, a sunny day can heat the inside of your house. Simply keep the curtains and the blinds open. At the same time, you want to shut them when the sun sets in order to keep additional heat from escaping through the glass.
– Programmable thermostats regulate your home’s temperature, so you don’t have to think about it. In the winter, keep it at 68 degrees and wear extra layers if you are chilly. When you’re away, you can lower the temperature up to another ten degrees. This way you can use much less energy. Savings on your next utility bill are guaranteed.
– If you have a furnace, it needs to be cleaned every year in order to keep it efficient. Sometimes they are not installed properly, which can create a great deal of expense over time.
– A lot of air can escape through cracks around windows and doors. This wastes a lot of energy that is being used to warm your house. Weather-stripping is the best way to seal the moveable parts around windows and doors. If there are small cracks next to the windows or by doorframes, caulk is the best option for keeping in the heat. Caulk can be used on any other cracks in your home as well.
– The damper should always be closed in the fireplace when it is not in use. Otherwise, hot air will rise up through the chimney, and cold air will travel straight down it.
All of these tips can help you maximize your energy savings during the winter. Don’t let your utility bill get too high, just use these simple and straightforward tips to keep it warm inside and keep the cold outside.
We’re always being bombarded with sales pitches that say “Save 40% on your energy bills!” or “Cut your electric bill in half!” Consumers are frequently misled and confused by the various gizmos designed to save energy in the home. Consumer advocates warn homeowners to look out for products that don’t live up to the hype. Watch out for transient voltage surge protectors, black box devices for appliances, power factor correction devices, insulated paints, power-filtering devices and other energy conserving devices that promise hard-to-believe guarantees. Yet despite all the frauds out there, a number of legitimate devices are being widely used for saving energy in the home.
Since heating and cooling system expenses count for the largest portion of your overall home energy consumption, we’ll first look at this realm of home energy saving devices. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to set specific room temperatures for certain times of the day, without needing to manually adjust the dial. For instance, many people program their thermostats to turn down at night or while they’re at work and not using the heat. They can also program the heat to automatically turn back up just before they come home at night.
For the forgetful, there are also remote control heating systems that let you change the temperature even after you leave home. With a quick phone call, you can change the temperature of your home. Centralized heating and cooling also helps households with individual thermostats to maintain better consistency.
Another way to save energy is with water heating system devices. Reducing water consumption will also save on electricity. For instance, a low-flow showerhead can save up to 40% of your water consumption, thus taking the burden off your heating system. Similarly, a multi-setting showerhead (with pulse, spray, pause, turbo pulse, etc.) can save water. A water saving toilet lets homeowners save up to 25% of their water consumption. Energy experts say you’ll see the energy savings from these devices after they pay for themselves within the first few months.
Solar battery chargers are great devices to save energy using off-grid power. For instance, the “solar egg” can reach over a 90% charge in just four hours of sun, which can be used to power up mobile phones, computers, digital cameras and other electronics. Not only can these save you money on your energy bills at home, but they can also be extremely helpful when you need power outdoors, far from electrical outlets, and they produce no pollutants to boot! The Voltaic Systems Solar Backpack is another amazing invention. One hour of sunlight will charge your phone long enough for you to make a few calls. However, a full 10-hour charge can provide up to 55 hours of stored energy! With several different adapters, you can easily plug in your MP3 player, computer, cell phone or other electronic device. Some of the more expensive $500 bags can even charge laptops, but you can find more basic versions for $75 to $250.
By Cyndi Wagner