With electricity and water charges continuing to rise due to increased regulation and higher energy costs, homeowners need to look for ways to reduce your utility charges wherever possible. Some fixes are as simple as lowering your hot water heater temperature or running your dishwasher, while other ways to reduce energy usages requires adding insulation, weatherstripping, or installing a new thermostat.
With electricity and water charges continuing to rise due to increased regulation and higher energy costs, homeowners need to look for ways to reduce your utility charges wherever possible.
- Lower your Hot Water Temperature
Many people like hot showers, but by lowering the temperature on your hot water heater from 130 to 120 degrees F can save around $25 annually with a natural gas water heater and nearly $60 with an electric water heater. You need to maintain a temperature inside the tank of at least 120 degrees to prevent bacteria growth such as Legionella.
Hot Water Heater Maintenance - http://plumbing-leaks-faucets.knoji.com/hot-water-heater-operation-and-maintenance-to-improve-safety-and-efficiency/
Testing Thermostats on Electric Hot Water Heaters - http://plumbing-leaks-faucets.knoji.com/testing-thermostats-on-electric-hot-water-heaters/
- Unplug Electronics
Almost every home now has electronic equipment such as computers, cable tuners, and DVD players to name just a few. These devices use power even when off as do smaller devices such as cell phone chargers. The best way to save electricity is to unplug them or shut off the power strip they are plugged into. You can expect to save around $30 a year.
- Switch out Five Incandescent Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent lamps use two-thirds less electricity than standard incandescent light bulbs. Replacing the light bulbs in the top five most-used fixtures in your home with CFLs will lower your electric bill by $60 per year. You can opt to replace the original light bulb with an LED light bulb to reduce your costs even more.
Problems with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs - http://home-safety.knoji.com/problems-with-compact-fluorescent-lights-and-mercury/
- Air-Dry Dishes
You can actually save $20 a year or more by washing your dishes in your dishwasher as long as you run full loads and air dry the dishes afterwards. Most dishwashers clean dishes more efficiently than washing by hand since hand washing uses more hot water.
- Reduce Showerhead Flow
Most newer showerheads have a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), while traditional showerheads can be 5 gpm or higher. You can determine your household total by taking the total number of showers per week multiplied by the length of the each shower in minutes to get the total gallons of water used. If you replace your current showerhead with a low flow showerhead, going from 2.5 gpm to 1.5 gpm, your savings can be over $40 per year.
The Pros and Cons of Low Flow Showerheads - http://plumbing-leaks-faucets.knoji.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-low-flow-showerheads/
- Change Furnace Filter
Most HVAC professionals recommend checking furnace air filters monthly during the heating and cooling seasons and replace the filters when they’re dirty or at minimum every three months to save at least $30. Clogged filters not only restrict airflow to the rooms, it also increases the power required to move the air and increases wear on air handler components. Reduced airflow can also cause the evaporator coil in your furnace or air handler to freeze.
Understanding HVAC Filters - http://air-conditioning-hvac.knoji.com/untitled-article-304/
How to Fix Frozen Air Conditioning Coils - http://air-conditioning-hvac.knoji.com/how-to-fix-frozen-air-conditioning-coils/
- Install Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats adjust the temperature set points to match your daily schedule. If you are away from the home during the day without adjusting your thermostat, a programmable model can save between $100 and $175 a year.
Programmable Thermostat Reviews - http://air-conditioning-hvac.knoji.com/programmable-thermostat-reviews/
How to Troubleshoot your Thermostat - knoji.com/troubleshooting-your-air-conditioning-thermostat/
Air infiltration around doors, windows and electrical fixtures on exterior walls allows unconditioned air to enter the home. By adding weatherstripping around doors and windows, adjusting thresholds, and sealing gaps with caulk or minimally-expanding foam you can expect to save over $30 per year.
Weatherstripping and Blower Door Tests - http://heaters-home-heating.knoji.com/weatherstripping-installation-and-blower-door-tests-help-save-money-heating-and-cooling-your-home/
- Seal Ductwork
All ductwork leaks, especially the older they get. You can improve the efficiency of your metal ductwork by sealing seams with mastic. This improves airflow to each room and may allow you to lower the temperature setting on your thermostat as well. You can save between $25 and $35 a year.
How to Seal Ductwork with Mastic - http://air-conditioning-hvac.knoji.com/how-to-seal-ducts-with-mastic/
- Add Insulation
Adding insulation is key areas can result in big savings especially in the floor of your attic, and insulating the rim joists in your basement or crawlspace. You can save over $200 per year.
Insulate Basement Rim Joist - http://weatherizing-insulation.knoji.com/how-to-insulate-basement-rim-joists/