It’s cold out, your heat is working double-time, and you think you might have to as well to foot the bill. But your heater isn’t the only energy guzzler in the house. There are a few ways to cut energy bills to relieve the stress on your finances… don’t forget your credit card bills from the holidays are coming and they’re never pretty!
3 Ways to Cut Energy Bills
1. Check your hot water heater
Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit but you’d be more than happy with it set 20 degrees cooler. It’s likely your water heater not only heats the water, but stores water at that set temperature all day, every day. Turn down your water heater and you can cut your energy bills by almost 10 dollars per month right there! If you have an older water heater, it may also not be insulated very well. This can cause that stored water to lose its heat faster which then triggers the water heater to use more energy to keep it to temperature. You can buy a water heater insulator that will help keep your stored water warm. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can also insulate your hot water pipes.
There are also tankless water heaters that are stored right at where you’d need the water (under the sink in the bathroom, usually) and they eliminate the need for storing hot water and the subsequent energy drain. The perk to a tankless water heater is that it can also cut down on your water usage.
2. Insulate your windows
You can lose up to 20 percent of your home’s heat through your windows due to air leakage. The most efficient — and upfront expensive — way to limit this is to buy double-paned windows. Window treatments like honeycomb blinds can help insulate by trapping the air. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, quick fix, there are shrink-wrap plastic sheets you can stick around your windows to stop the air leakage. Just keep in mind that energy-efficient windows and window treatments do pay off in the long run.
3. Turn off your lights and unplug what you’re not using
This is a simple one: turn off all electrical items when you leave a room — the lights, TV, space heaters, etc. You wouldn’t believe how much energy can be saved just by ensuring everything that isn’t in use is off. Also be mindful of everything that’s plugged into your outlets because they’re drawing power even when switched off. If there is a TV in a guest room that you seldom use, unplug it until you need to use it. Cut energy bills by using power strips (check out our article on why surge protector/power strips are essential) and turning them off when you aren’t using any electronics. Going away for a while? Unplug as much as you can and watch your energy savings spike. You can also invest in new outlets that have an on/off switch included.
If your energy bills are troubling you and you’ve done what you can to save energy, maybe there’s a bigger problem. Contact us for help fixing your home’s electrical wiring!