Energy costs can take a big bite out of any homeowner’s budget, so you need to know how to be energy-wise. Here are a few quick and easy ways to cut your energy bills with a minimum of time and effort.
One of the biggest energy expenses is your home heating bill, so let’s start there. You can significantly reduce your energy costs by installing a thermostat with an automatic timer that allows you to set the temperature back by a few degrees at bedtime, and returns the temperature to a more comfortable level before you get up. After all, why heat the whole house, when an extra quilt will keep you toasty and warm for a lot less money? On the flip side, when the temperatures ramp up, pre-set timers can reduce air conditioning costs too.
Similarly, if you have a room that isn’t used every day, such as a guest room or workshop, consider shutting the air register, and closing the door until you plan to use the space. Your furnace or air conditioning system won’t have to work so hard and you’ll pocket the savings while the rest of your home environment stays in the comfort zone.
You can also reduce the effect of ambient solar heating in summer and heat loss in winter with lined draperies or installing window blinds. Adding weather-stripping to seal drafts around doors can also result in big energy savings.
Insulation is an energy saver that works hard for you all year long. A one-time investment keeps your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter and the cost of installation can be recaptured in energy savings. Many local utilities and government bodies offer special incentives or rebates to help offset the cost of energy-saving improvements, so be sure to investigate what options are available in your market. Your Coldwell Banker real estate professional may also be a helpful source of information about local programs.
Old appliances may also be draining more power than you might think. Did you know that a refrigerator is one the biggest energy users in the house? So, if you have an old appliance that needs repair, don’t just look at the cost of fixing it, also think about how much energy it uses. Today’s newer appliances are far more energy efficient than their predecessors, so buying used appliances or repairing an old unit may not be the bargain that you think it is!