The new year has arrived, and now is a great time to make some resolutions to improve your life. Many people may try to lose weight. Others promise to cut back on various vices. When it comes to beneficial resolutions, few will rank as high as saving money. Many areas of life can provide some serious savings. One of these is related to energy costs. Not only will cutting back on your use of energy save you money, but it can also help save the environment.
Here are five ways that you can cut back.
Unplug Your Appliances
Many appliances continue to draw energy even when they’re powered off. Some examples of these so-called ‘vampire’ appliances include…
- Computers and laptops, along with modems and routers
- LED and LCD televisions
- Surround sound systems
- Cable or satellite TV boxes
Our solution: Keep small appliances plugged into a power strip and switch it off when you aren’t using the electronics to prevent devices from leeching energy.
Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Many houses still use traditional incandescent light bulbs. Today, there is a great deal of controversy over the phasing out of incandescent bulbs—however, these traditional bulbs burn out more quickly and use up more energy to light your home than other newer models available.
Our solution: Make the switch over to LED bulbs. Newer options use about a sixth of the energy as the 60-watt incandescent bulbs. Additionally, a recent study noted that LED lights would last about 20 times as long as incandescent bulbs. Even though the cost per bulb is higher on the front end, the lower energy consumption and the longer useful life make LED lights a smart investment.
Prevent Home Energy Loss
Did you know that your home or apartment likely loses energy through gaps in your doors and windows? According to energy.gov, heat gain and heat loss through windows account for 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling costs.
Our solution: Adding weatherstripping is a cheaper solution to replacing the doors and windows in your home. Weatherstripping limits the amount of air that leaks through them and can help you save money over the long haul. It’s estimated that sealing up the drafts in an older house can save as much as 20% on your heating and cooling costs. When compared to the cost of heating and cooling your home, adding a few weather strips can be a good resolution for the new year.
Dial Back Your Thermostat
Keeping your home at 70 degrees throughout the year might lead to better comfort, but it will also lead to increased energy costs. By turning back the thermostat, it’s possible to save money. The US Department of Energy estimates that each degree you turn your thermostat down in the winter will save you 1% for every eight hours. Most people are at work or school for at least eight hours a day. There’s no need to have your HVAC system running constantly while you’re not at home.
Our solution: A programmable thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature based on your preferences and schedule. Brands like Honeywell and Nest have proven that their thermostats can save you money on your heating and cooling costs with the added convenience of being able to adjust settings from your phone or computer.
Take Care of Your Large Appliances
Scheduling an appointment with an HVAC professional can help you save energy. HVAC experts can maintain your system so that it’s running closer to its peak efficiency during both the heat of summer and the dead of winter. Decreased inefficiency can cost you (and it can make your system burn out more quickly), so it’s a good idea to make sure that everything is running as it should.
Our solution: Pre-season maintenance is a great way to keep your system running efficiently to help you save money on energy costs and prolong the life of your heating and cooling system. Joining a maintenance program can help you save money over time and will put you first on the list for any repairs you may need at peak times of the year.Bottom line: The start of a new year is a great time to take inventory of many things in your life. Your expenses are one thing that you have a great deal of control over. Many people forget to look at their energy costs, but there are likely ways that you can adjust your life slightly to slash your energy costs. It’s a good idea to make the resolution to audit your energy use and make the appropriate changes as soon as possible. For all of your heating and cooling needs in 2020 and beyond, contact Elite Air at (609) 581-8282.