Energy efficiency has become an increasingly important topic in recent years, and for good reason: not only does it affect the future of the environment, but it can have a direct impact on our wallets as well. As we kick off the New Year, why not make a resolution to keep more money in your pocket by improving the energy efficiency of your household? To help get the ball rolling, here are six tried-and-true ways to lower your energy bills in 2018.
1. Replace your furnace filter.
A filthy or clogged furnace filter will cause your HVAC system to work harder to produce and move conditioned air throughout your home, which can drive your energy bill up unnecessarily. Depending upon the size and type of filter that your HVAC system requires, you might have to replace it every three, six or 12 months.
2. Install a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats allow you to put your home temperature control on autopilot, which can shave quite a bit of money off your monthly energy bill. For example, you can program your thermostat to begin heating your home about 30 minutes before you return from work, so that you’re not wasting energy heating or cooling an unoccupied house for the majority of the day.
3. Replace or upgrade inefficient appliances.
Household appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers account for roughly 13% of the energy used in your home. If these appliances are outdated or inefficient, they’ll act as “energy hogs” that boost your monthly utility expenses. By upgrading to ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, you can improve energy efficiency while saving a substantial amount of money over the long term.
4. Ensure that your home is adequately insulated and air sealed.
One of the most effective ways to reduce your energy bill is to ensure that your home has been adequately insulated and sealed. Without proper insulation and air sealing, your home will leak conditioned air out and let non-conditioned air in, which can significantly drive up your energy costs. The number-one area to check in this regard is your attic, but also be sure to inspect exterior windows and doors for proper weather-stripping, making repairs as needed. When you consider that heating and cooling accounts for nearly 50% of your total energy costs, it only makes sense to shore up your insulation and seal your home so you can keep more money in your pocket.
5. Low-flow is the way to go.
Installing low-flow showerheads is a great way to conserve water while reducing your monthly energy bill. Low-flow showerheads will ensure a more efficient flow rate of water, which means less water to heat, and less energy being wasted.
6. Energy efficient lighting is a bright idea.
Instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, consider using ENERGY STAR, which use 70-90% less energy and can last nearly 15 times longer than their traditional counterparts. Also consider installing dimmer switches and three-way light bulbs, as they will use less energy while allowing you to adjust your lighting level for various tasks.
7. Get a free online home energy assessment!
It’s always a good thing when you can save money while reducing energy consumption! If you’re ready to lower your energy bill in 2018 and beyond, the best place to start is to visit Get Efficient and complete our easy online energy assessment. In less than five minutes, you can receive a customized energy ranking, savings estimates and upgrade recommendations to help you get the most bang for your buck on your energy bill, all completely free of charge. Here’s to greater savings in the New Year!