Did your spending habits get a little out of control in December? January is the perfect time to get your finances back in order after the most expensive, shopping-filled month of the year. One easy way to cut costs is to reduce your energy consumption. Plus, since there is a direct connection between energy usage and the environment, making these changes positively impact our planet – the home we all share.
There are a lot of little things you can do today to make a big difference in your energy bill. Take a look at these changes that you can make today.
Weatherproof Your Home
Weather can put significant wear and tear on your house over time. By weather proofing your house, you put yourself in a good position for saving money later.
For severe winter weather:
- Insulate your walls and attic – this can slash up to 30% off your energy bill. Insulation helps better control your cooling and heating costs for years to come
- Caulk and weather strip your doors and windows – This can help keep cold air out, and warm air in
- Insulate your pipes – this will help prevent your pipes from freezing, bursting, and halt mold growth
Install Energy-Efficient Windows
Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling energy use according to the Department of Energy. Energy efficient windows have a glass coating that helps block the rays of the sun to keep the heat inside when it's cold, and outside when it's hot.
Get an Energy-Efficient Furnace
Gas furnaces typically have an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of 65%. Energy efficient, electric furnaces can achieve up to 97%.
Solar panels are a great way to lower your energy bill over time and reduce your carbon footprint. They generate renewable energy from a natural source, no emissions are created, and they are durable, and low maintenance. A study by the National Renewable Laboratory showed that homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more money.
Turn Off Lights When You Leave
This one might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people still leave the lights on when they are not home. Turning off lights saves energy and money.
Run Appliances When Fully Loaded
Only running appliances when they are fully loaded with make the most of the energy, water, and detergent the machines use.
Take Faster Showers
By cutting back on long showers, you would be surprised how much water and heat you save over time.
Unplug Unused Appliances
This easy tip will help you save in the long run. All appliances that are plugged in, even when they are off or not in use, are drawing power. Unplug appliances such as toasters, coffee makers, and hair straighteners to save money and energy.
By making these home improvements and changing small daily habits, you will be well on your way to saving money and energy in the new year.