10 Things You Can Do to Save Money on Your Home Energy Costs
By Adam Vaught
As a homeowner, you probably never turn away ideas for how to save more money on your home energy bills. There are plenty of changes that you can make to lower your costs on these expenses. Some of them cost you more money up front, but give you great advantages in the long run (as you will see), while others are easy and inexpensive to implement. And these are things beyond just the annual HVAC checkup. Let’s look carefully at you can possibly do to get the home energy expenses down.
1. Replace your light bulbs. Your home’s lighting accounts for one-third of your total energy bills. If you can do anything to easily lower your lighting bill, it’s to get the new Energy Star rated light bulbs. They’re more expensive than your incandescent light bulbs, but they last a lot longer. It’s estimated that one of these bulbs saves you $6 a year in electricity costs and $40 over its lifetime. That doesn’t sound like much until you consider just how many lights you have in your home. If you have 25 regularly used lights in your home, you would save $180 per year for several years.
2. Install underfloor heating cables and backer boards. Underfloor heating is the quietest, most comfortable, and most efficient heating method for the home. Coupled with the insulating and moisture-resisting backer boards, underfloor heating will save you money on your heating bills while enhancing your home interior’s comfort and aesthetics. Your home’s value will also rise.
3. Install a smart electronic thermostat. You can make your underfloor heating system even more efficient when coupling it with a smart thermostat. These thermostats are more “21st century” aesthetically, too.
4. Have custom windows and doors installed. Admittedly, this is one of the most expensive up front changes to make to your home for saving on energy bills. But the fact is that if you’re in your home long enough (probably about another 10 years) those windows and doors are going to pay for themselves by way of your energy bill savings. Furthermore, your home’s interior will be more comfortable, less dirty, and lower in allergen content in the air. Your home’s exterior will be beautified. And, should you move to another home, you will be able to sell your current home for a higher price because of its higher quality windows and doors.
5. Allow more natural light to come into the house. The very best way to save money on your lighting bill is simply to turn on your lights less often. Start making more use of natural lighting, especially on the north and the east facting sides of your house. Keep the drapes open more often in warmer months, or have skylights or larger windows put in in north-facing and east-facing rooms.
6. Make more strategic use of curtains and drapes. Drawn curtains and drapes can be used to keep in more heat in colder months and keep the interior cooler in the hotter months. This is an easy way to modify your home’s interior atmosphere, and nice drapes or curtains add aesthetic beauty to your home, too.
7. Use flannel sheets and pillowcases in colder months. Why worry about turning up the thermostat or running some electric blanket on cold nights when you can get cozy with flannel in your bed? Investing in these bed coverings is one of the easiest and least costly up front things you can do to save some money on your fuel bill when the nights turn cold.
8. Use evaporative air coolers instead of air conditioning (whenever possible). Your AC units eat up more electricity than any other utility. Evaporative air cooler units are far less expensive to operate and less costly to maintain. Use them in concert with come ceiling fans and you may never need AC for your home again.
9. Plant shade trees on the south and west facing sides of your house. You don’t get as much useful natural light from the south and west as you do from the other sides, so keeping your home cooler by shading the house with trees in these areas makes perfect sense. The trees also beautify your property.
10. Supplement your home with a couple of solar panels and a small wind turbine for your property. Solar panel kits continue to fall in price, and they look cool. A single small wind turbine also looks cools and doesn’t take up too much space or pose too much danger to birds. These investments aren’t the least expensive but they pay for themselves over time and make your home value rise.
Spending less on energy bills means having more money to spend elsewhere!
Adam Vaught is an insurance expert who enjoys sharing his knowledge on money/home owner blogs. You can view homeowners insurance rates here http://homeownersinsurance.com/rates/.