How to Save Money on Electricity & Gas Bills
Whether it's during the worst of a heat wave or a cold snap, there are few people immune to the shock brought on by an expensive utility bill.
Here are some tips for saving energy:
Begin an Appliance Replacement Program
- Start small with light bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), replacing 15 incandescent bulbs with energy-saving CFL or LED bulbs could save you about $50 a year.
- Old and poorly maintained appliances can be big energy suckers. Make a plan to begin replacing them with new Energy Star certified models. These are up to 40 percent more energy-efficient, resulting in a lower residential electric bill.
- Update your thermostat. Today's technology includes thermostats that are smart enough to adjust and maintain your home's temperature and humidity. They can even be controlled from your smartphone!
- Replace windows to prevent treated air from leaking out of your home. Window options include heat-absorbing tints and insulated, multi-pane glass to improve your home seal. These newer windows can protect furniture from UV damage, increase the resale value of a home, improve energy efficiency and even provide better sound insulation.
Take Advantage of Rebate and Tax Credits
- Take advantage of any available rebates and tax credits from purchasing energy efficient products and homes. Visit energystar.gov to learn about the benefits for which you may qualify.
Set up an HVAC Service Schedule
- Overdue maintenance can be costly, especially when it comes to your furnace and air conditioning. Sticking to a manufacturer-recommended replacement schedule for your air filters can save between 5 and 15 percent on energy costs, according to the EPA. An annual cleaning and adjustment of your HVAC equipment could save you even more money in the long run by extending the life and efficiency of your system.
Go Off the Grid
- Check for duct leaks. Leaks rob your home of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer and are one of the largest energy wasters in the average home.
- Unplug chargers, computers and other electronics when not in use, as most will still continue to draw energy even when they're off.
- Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer. Fresh food compartments should be between 37-40 degrees and the freezer at 5 degrees, according to the DOE.
- Keep your freezer full, because solids retain low temperatures better than air. If you don't want to stock up on frozen goods, place half-filled gallon jugs of water in the freezer.
- Wait until your dishwasher is full before running it, and skip the heat dry cycle.
Consider hiring a professional energy auditor to help guide your conservation efforts. They will go through your home, providing assessments and making recommendations on lowering your residential energy costs.
Keeping your systems in good shape can help you manage your utility costs, and a maintenance and repair plan makes it easy! Browse our home protection plans or call us at 1-888-733-1683 for more information.
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