With the cost of oil, gas and electricity continually on the rise, it is more important than ever to make sure your home is energy efficient. Some simple modifications to your home’s heating and cooling systems and to its insulation can dramatically lower your utility bills and save you hundreds of dollars a year. You can really save big if you are in an area with relatively high electricity rates. In addition to shopping for a better electricity rate at compareelectricityratesinhouston.com, here are some of the changes you could make.
Add home insulation
If you live in an under-insulated house, you can boost to your comfort level and bank account when you add insulation. Fiberglass, foam or cellulose insulation stops heat from seeping out of the house in the winter and keeps cool, air-conditioned air inside during the summer.
Insulation is not just meant for attics. Maximum savings can be achieved by installing extra insulation in the floors over unused spaces, ventilated crawl spaces, unheated garages or outside porches. It should also be added above cathedral or vaulted ceilings and behind basement or knee walls.
Your savings will vary depending on how well your home is already insulated, but simply increasing the thickness of your attic insulation from 2 to 3 inches to 8 to 14 inches will save you between 100 and 150 a year for each 1,200 square feet of attic space.
Switch to an Energy Star water heater
An older, less-efficient water heater can waste more than 30 a year in unnecessary energy costs. Replacing it with an Energy Star water heater only costs about 200 and should save you about 30 each year for the next 10 to 15 years.
You can increase your savings even more when you wrap your Energy Star water heater with an insulation jacket. Many hardware and home improvement centers carry them. They are inexpensive and fit most makes and models. Using one is an easy way to save up to 100 a year.
Change your thermostat
You can shave six percent off your heating and cooling bills by manually setting your thermostat two degrees Fahrenheit lower in the winter and two degrees higher in the summer.
Alternatively, you can replace your old thermostat with a programmable model. A model that is approved by Energy Star costs about 50 and can save you hundreds of dollars by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature.
One the greatest features of a programmable thermostat is the ability to automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule. Temperatures are set for maximum savings when you are asleep or out of the home.