Buildings account for a lot of the energy that is used in the U.S. Of that energy, about half of it is used to power our homes. Reducing the amount of energy you use means that your energy bills will be lower. There are quite a few ways that you can lower your energy bills without breaking the bank to do it. Let’s take a closer look.
Why not start with who provides your energy? If you live in a deregulated state, you will be able to choose who that is. You can check the energy rates that each provider charges and go with the one that best suits your needs. Most of the time, some of the providers even offer a greener energy plan, which means that along with reducing what you pay for your energy, you will also be reducing your carbon footprint.
Do you have siding on your home? If you have vinyl or even aluminum siding, that could be saving you money on your energy bills. Siding is durable, attractive, and can be cost effective. It is also easy to install and quite durable. You can get it in a vast array of colors and styles. Aluminum siding, in particular, is also able to be painted, whereas vinyl siding cannot be painted. Siding can last for many years and is nearly totally able to be recycled. If you are looking at siding as an option to make your home more energy efficient, it is also important to ensure that you have proper sealing and insulation.
And Speaking of Insulation…
If you pay attention at all to the USDE – US Department of Energy – you will know that your attic is where most of the heat in your home escapes. This is simply because of science. Heat has a tendency to rise. The thing is, most homes do not have sufficient insulation in the attic to keep that heat from escaping to the outside. You can get fiberglass insulation for relatively cheap prices and it is easy to install on your own. You can save quite a bit by doing this one simple thing.
This is another one of those fixes that are easy to do yourself. It can make a massive difference when it comes to keeping drafts out too. Go to all of the doors and windows that lead outside. Run your hand along the edges of them. If you feel a draft, it needs some weather stripping. Weather stripping can also help when it comes to keeping rain and moisture outside where it belongs and keeping your cool air inside the house during those warmer months.
Again, referring to the USDE, you can shave about 10% off of your energy bills by simply installing a thermostat that is programmable. This can be done by yourself and each one of these thermostats comes with installation instructions that are easy to follow. Also, you need to remember that the more you keep your thermostat up in the warmer months and down in the cooler months, the more money you can save.
Insulate the Water Heater
If you happen to have a water heater that is not exactly new, you can save up to 9% on the cost to heat your water just by giving your water heater a bit of insulation. The USDE has estimated that the jackets used to insulate water heaters can prevent the loss of standby heat by as much as 45%. This means that you will be more efficiently heating your water just by putting a bit of insulation on the heater.
Are you aware that 90% of the energy used by your washing machine is due to the water needing to be heated? This can be a surprising fact, and since we do laundry so much, if you make the switch to doing your laundry in cold water, those savings can really begin to add up. When you decide to wash your clothes in cold water, the only energy that is used will be what is required to run the machine. This can make a massive difference.