January 5th is cut your energy cost day (who knew) and there are ways to save a bunch with just a few simple steps. Here are my 4 simple steps to reduce your monthly bills when it comes to energy usage.
- Windows and doors are the areas of greatest loss when it comes to your comfort, especially during the winter months. By eliminating the drafts you can increase the energy efficiency of those areas by as much as 70%. Products like self-stick weather stripping, window insulation, clay caulking rope, and removable caulking are easy to install and will improve both comfort and lower your energy use.
- Having your furnace or boiler cleaned each year is money well spent. This will ensure that the system is operating at peak efficiency and safely. A typical clean and check costs between $100-$150 by a trained HVAC contractor. Look for technicians that are N.A.T.E certified, for the most comprehensive inspection.
- Did you know that the average home in the US has 45 lightbulbs? For this tip let’s assume all of those are 60-watt incandescent bulbs and they’re all on. That’s 2,700 watts of electricity being used. If you replaced all of those with equivalent brightness LED bulbs which only use 9 watts each that’s a total of 405 watts. Now no one ever has all the lights on but as you can see the energy savings are huge. Also, the color of the LED bulbs is comparable to incandescent or halogen bulbs and they can last up to 30,000 hours.
- Put your programmable thermostat to good use. Most of us set our thermostat to one setting and leave it there. But changing the temperature in your home to no more than 8-10 degrees throughout the year can actually save you up to 20% on the energy you use to heat and cool your home. At night when you are snug under the covers is a great time to turn the temp down and then turn it back up about an hour before your rise. The same is true if you’re away from the home during the day for work. The trick is no more than a ten-degree shift as the energy used to move the temp back up would negate the savings.
While National Cut Your Energy Day may not be quite as fun as national ice cream day, you could save enough to have ice cream anytime you want.