How much is your energy consumption costing you? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends over $4,400 per year on utilities, fuel, and public services. Anything you can do to conserve energy will sure have a positive impact for your wallet. Below are 10 steps in the right direction.
1. Adjust your thermostat.
The Department of Energy recommends setting the AC to 78 degrees and the furnace to 68 degrees to maintain comfort inside your house while decreasing energy usage.
2. Buy Energy Star appliances.
When shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star label. This identifies energy-efficient appliances that can save you more cash.
3. Use your ceiling fans.
In the summer, set it to spin counter-clockwise to pull the hot air up and cool your living space. Do the reverse in the winter so hot air blows down to warm you up.
4. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs.
You can save up to $45 annually when you replace your incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent ones.
5. Unplug your electronics when not in use.
As long as appliances are plugged in, they draw a small amount of power even when they are turned off. Make it a habit to unplug appliances when not in use or use the surge suppressor.
6. Conserve water.
Invest in low-flow fixtures to avoid using excessive water. Remember to fix anything that drops or leaks, too.
7. Insulate your house well.
A well-insulated house reduces the amount of money you will spend on heating and cooling. Check for any holes, too.
8. Close the doors.
Simple efforts, like shutting the refrigerator door immediately, keeping fireplace dampers shut, and closing curtains over windows at night, prevent heat loss.
9. Change your filters regularly.
Many furnace manufacturers recommend changing or emptying your filters monthly or quarterly to keep the unit performing at peak efficiency.
10. Benefit from the environment.
Add trees around your house to lower heating and cooling costs. They add shade in the summer and provide a windbreak in the winter. Clever positioning of trees can reduce your cooling costs by up to 25%.