Saving money these days is not optional. Every penny counts in this economy, and your home is a great place to start. Many people do not realize how much their utility bills actually cost them each month/year. Most of us get the bill, sigh a bit, and then pay it like every other one that comes out way. You may not know that there are many ways you can slash this particular bill in half, and the hardest part is simply taking the time to do so. Here are some helpful tips to help you save, because at the end of the day, a lower utility bill is never a bad thing.
Locate the Source: The Importance of an Energy Audit
The main culprit for high heating and cooling bills is leaks, which can take place in varying ways. The purpose of an energy audit is to track where these leaks are occurring. A majority of the time this will tend to be one’s doors and windows, although improper insulation in the walls and attic of a home are also major sources. Before starting any job, it is wise to do the necessary research. If you have the funds available, you can hire a contractor to do this for you, but your local electric company will likely offer this service for free. They will come and inspect your home, and may even provide you with a starter kit for getting started.
Seal Everything Up: Doors and Windows
It should be no surprise that doors and windows rank highest on the list for energy culprits. After all, a hole was cut into the wall for these devices to be installed, so the fact that air leaks can occur is understandable. Caulking, whether in the tube or rope type, will go a very long way towards reducing your energy footprint. You will also notice a substantial decrease in your monthly electric bill. If you do not have energy efficient windows, another great tip for insulating your current ones is to install insulating film on the glass. There are many different methods to try, all of which will greatly improve your windows’ ability to insulate your home. One great cost-effective way is to use bubble wrap. This material acts as an excellent insulating device, and has been shown to double the R-value of a window. For maximum use, you can double layer the wrapping in addition to using weather-stripping and heavy drapes.
If you live in a home with radiator heating, you should definitely purchase some tin foil. Placing tin foil behind radiators will significantly reduce the amount of heat that is lost through the walls. Tin foil acts as a reflecting device, which will push back most of the radiated heat towards the center of the room. This works in conjunction with another energy saving tip. Having a programmable thermostat is another cost-effective tip. Make sure to set the temperature to one that your family is comfortable with. Turning the degree down a few in the winter can significantly reduce your monthly bill. Use common sense. There is no need to wear shorts during the winter, so wear additional layers inside your home as you would outside. All of these tips will work together to save you a lot of money.