Do you know that you can lower your energy bill by as much as 25% with only minimal tweaks to your everyday use? With the heat pumping on overdrive, the winter months can make the cost of your utilities skyrocket. That’s why we’re giving you our top 16 tips to lower your energy bill, from lighting, water, heating and cooling, and everything in between.
Heating and cooling
Home heating and cooling are 10 of the biggest culprits behind hefty utility bills — and the best places to look for cost-cutting opportunities.
- Watch your thermostat. When you’re asleep or away from home, set your thermostat back 10 degrees. You can cut your annual heat and cooling costs by an estimated 10% by doing this for just eight hours. You may also want to think about upgrading from a conventional to an energy-efficient smart thermostat, which can save you up to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. They can also adapt to your temperature preferences and adjust your settings depending on when you’re home and when you’re away.
- Check seals on windows, doors and appliances:Make sure your fridge and freezer are well sealed to keep the cold air where it belongs. Same goes for your doors and windows. A bad seal allows energy to seep out, draining your wallet in the process. Also consider installing Low-E windows (one of McKee Homes staple energy-saving home features). Low-E windows help save energy by reflecting harmful UV rays from the outside of the home and reflecting radiant heat back into the room. This keeps the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Repair leaky heating ventilation and air conditioning ducts:If the ducts are poorly sealed or insulated, they are likely hiking up your energy bill significantly. Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces are known to increase your heating and cooling bill by hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
What’s the purpose of the ducts? As one of the most important systems in your home, they carry the air from your home’s furnace or heat pump and central air conditioner to rooms throughout your house.Insulate or seal ducts, a very cost-effective process, in order to increase your system’s efficiency.
- Give your thermostat a nudge:Set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees when you’re asleep or away from home. Doing so for eight hours can lower your annual heating and cooling costs by around 10%. A programmable thermostat will do the work for you.
- Adjust your fridge and freezer temperature:To make your refrigerator and freezer work less hard to maintain the internal temperature, set your fridge temp to 38 degrees and your freezer to 5 degrees. And don’t worry, your food will still stay fresh at these temperatures.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hot water use comes in second on the list of highest utility expense. Try cutting back your hot water usage in the following ways:
- Stick to warm or cold water when doing laundry
- Cut 2 minutes of your shower:Just this little amount can trim your water usage by 10 gallons a month.
- Install an efficient shower head: The Environmental Protection Agency says to look for one with the WaterSense label, which can reduce your water usage by close to 3,000 gallons a year.
- Be mindful of leaky faucets: Although the drip is slow, it adds up.
- Use energy–efficient appliances:Buy energy efficient versions of the appliances you use most often: refrigerator, washer, dishwasher and water heater, for long-term savings. A normal dishwater uses 10+ gallons of water during one cycle compared to the new Energy Star label dishwashers that only allow 6 gallons at most to run.
- Adjust temperature of water heater:Lower your water heater temperate to 120 degrees (only 20 degrees lower than normal) to reduce your water heating costs by 10% or more. Remember to turn your water heater to the lowest setting when you’re away from home to max out your savings.
Power and lighting
Allowing lights and electronics to run accounts for an estimated 12% of a household’s energy bill.
- Educate yourself–analyze your home energy usage graphs provided with your monthly bill. Becoming aware of your energy sucks can help you make alterations going forward.
- Get an energy audit.On top of educating yourself, request an audit from your energy company. They’ll come out and conduct a thorough inspection, sometimes for free, to identify ways for you to conserve energy.
- Use LED bulbs:Using bulbs with the Energy Star seal can save you upwards of $75 per year.
- Replace your power strips with smart power strips: Power strips never truly turn off so they are sucking power continuously! By using a smart power strip, the current is cut off to plugged-in electronics when not in use.
- Use light dimmers: Set the mood and save electricity all at the same time! By lowering the brightness of your lights, you conserve usage, creating savings in the long run.
With these tips, we hope you can lower your energy bill so you can put those savings to more important things, like experiences with family or outfitting your brand-new McKee home.
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