How To Reduce Your Utility Costs

1. Insulate Your AtticStudies conducted by the US Department of Energy found that the vast majority of heat escapes through the attic of a home. This makes sense when you consider that heat rises. Unfortunately, most attics are poorly insulated, resulting in a significant amount of lost energy.

The good news is, insulating your attic doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Buying enough fiberglass insulation to cover your attic is less expensive than you might think. I recently insulated my attic with this type of insulation. Not only was the project easy and affordable to do but it has wound up saving me a ton of money. Over the past year, I would estimate that my utility expenses have been cut by approximately 10%. That is a significant amount of savings for a simple home improvement project.

You can find a lot of free information online on how to add this type of insulation to your attic space.

2. Reduce Drafts With Weather StrippingAdding weatherstripping around your doors can make a huge difference in how energy-efficient your home is. Prior to adding weatherstripping to my doors, I could feel a cool breeze coming in through the doors in my kitchen. After I got the weatherstripping put in place, however, there is no longer cool air coming in around the doors. By creating an airtight home, weatherstripping helps prevent heat loss while at the same time keeping cool air outside.

This is another project that is easy enough for anyone to do. It also is extremely affordable – especially when you consider how quickly you can recoup the cost of materials through energy savings.

3. Add Insulation To Your Light Switches And Electrical OutletsAlthough it may sound strange, your light switches and electrical outlets can be a significant source of wasted energy. Most outlets are surrounded by openings where air can leak out of your home. This is especially true for outlets that are located on an exterior wall. You can help prevent heat loss by adding insulating seals around your outlets. Be sure to choose insulating materials that are specifically designed for use in these types of fixtures to eliminate the risk of fire.

4. Take Control Of Your Heating And Cooling System With A Programmable ThermostatAccording to the US Department of Energy, you could cut your utility bill by as much as 10% simply by using a programmable thermostat.

Installing a new thermostat is a little bit trickier than some of the other projects that we have talked about. However, it still is relatively easy. All that you have to do is follow the instructions provided by the thermostat manufacturer. This will help you save on your energy bills.

Try to keep your thermostat set as low as possible during the winter, leaving it higher during the summer. For instance, on most winter nights, I set my thermostat at about 55°. During the day, on the other hand, I raise it up to about 64°. This temperature range does a good job of keeping me comfortable during Michigan’s cold winters. At first, it may feel colder than you are used to. However, your body will quickly adapt to the lower temperatures – especially if you make the change gradually over a period of a couple weeks.

Another easy way to save money with a programmable thermostat is by programming it to turn the temperature down during the day when you are at work. This will keep your heater from running excessively during the day when no one is around. You can do the opposite during the summer, setting the thermostat higher when you aren’t home to cut your air conditioning bill.

5. Choose A Water-Saving Shower HeadMost older shower heads put out an incredible amount of water – sometimes as much as 5 gallons of water each minute that they are turned on. Low flow shower heads, on the other hand, usually use about 1.5 gallons per minute, resulting in significant savings. Best of all, today’s models still provide plenty of water pressure.

There is a wide range of these showerheads on the market. Some are extremely inexpensive whereas others are a little bit more costly. Whatever model you choose, however, it is well worth the investment since it can save you a lot of money.

6. Add Insulation To Your Water HeaterReducing heat loss from your water heater is as easy as installing an insulating blanket around your tank.

According to the US Department of Energy, water heater blankets can reduce the amount of heat that is lost through the tank by as much as 45%. This is an easy and affordable way to cut back on wasted energy.

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Ali Dino
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