According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most American homeowners spend over $2,000 each year on utilities alone. Much of this goes to heating, cooling and electrical costs. However, up to 25 percent of this money may be thrown away through leaky windows and doors and inefficient appliances and furnaces. Making four simple changes can knock up to several hundred dollars off home energy bills every year, saving families money to spend on more exciting things.
Not Going Low Flow
Many homeowners do not consider their water as an energy cost. However, much of the water that is used for laundry, showers and doing the dishes is heated, and thus, requires energy. Installing low-flow showerheads can increase energy savings dramatically because most showerheads typically use 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
Not Choosing Energy Star Appliances
According to Energy Star, Energy Star-rated appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy than their counterparts do. This can equal huge savings over the lifetime of the product. Homeowners can find energy-saving appliances in almost every category, including dishwashers, washing machines, televisions, air conditioners and much more.
Not Maintaining Heating and Cooling Units
According to Energy Star’s heating challenge, the energy cost to run heating and cooling units can be up to 50 percent of a homeowner’s overall utility cost; therefore, they should be kept working at peak capacity. A few simple ways to do this is to change the furnace filter regularly and to schedule regular maintenance through a professional service such as C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning. They can also install a programmable thermostat to help save money when homeowners are away from home or asleep.
Not Changing Light Bulbs
Replacing older incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs, such as halogen, LED or compact fluorescents, is one of the easiest energy-saving changes that can be made. According to Energy Star, even changing the five most frequently used light bulbs in the home can save nearly $70 per year. Bulbs to consider changing include those in the bathroom or kitchen and outdoor porch bulbs.
Losing money on home energy bills is not only wasteful for families who want to save money for better experiences, but also harmful to the environment by wasting vital natural resources. The best way to create an energy-efficient home is to look at the house as an entire unit that works together. Although making one or two changes can definitely help, homeowners should try to make every one of these changes for the most energy savings and best environmental health.
Author: Anica Oaks, freelance writer and web enthusiast