by Catherine Collins: Even though people are getting more and more conscious about how important it is to be energy-efficient to protect our environment…
they usually don’t understand just how much money they can save by it every year. So, if you want to lower your utility bill and save up some money for a summer vacation, here are some ways you can do that.
Smart use of the thermostat
Research shows that most people keep their homes too hot in the winter and too cool in the summer. However, if you keep your thermostat only a few degrees lower during the cold days and higher in the summer, you’ll save up some money without even noticing any difference. For instance, keeping your thermostat on 70° F instead of 75° F can save you about 10% on heating costs. Another great solution is to install a smart thermostat that will regulate your temperature when you’re not at home (and a bunch of other things) and adjust the heating or cooling accordingly.
Learn how to use your ceiling fans
Many homes today have ceiling fans, but not many people use them or know how to use them properly. Experts advise setting the spinning direction counterclockwise in the summer, and clockwise in the winter. This way, your fan will pull the hot air up away from you when it’s hot and direct the hot air towards you when it’s cold. This will allow you to adjust your heating and cooling and lower your utility bill.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances
Once you decide your old appliances are ready to retire, invest in appliances that carry the Energy Star label. They use less energy than your traditional appliances when doing the exact same function. For instance, Energy Star refrigerators use about 20% less electricity and Energy Star dishwashers use only 5.8 gallons of water compared to 10 gallons that old models use per cycle. However, even if these energy-efficient appliances save energy and money, you might still want to wait until your washing machine or dishwasher get full, otherwise, use a shorter cycle.
Get the right lighting
Another easy and cheap way to reduce your energy consumption is to replace your old bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. They use only one-third of the energy of the standard ones and last ten-times longer. This means you’ll manage to save up to $30 per bulb on your electricity bill, and you won’t need to make as frequent trips to the store as before. For additional savings, turn the lights off when you’re not in the room or install sensors.
Use solar energy
If you really want to make a difference and save some serious money on your utility bill, you might start thinking about solar panels. They have never been cheaper, practical and more efficient than now, so it might be the perfect time for you to go solar. And if you decide to pair them with a solar battery, you’ll be able to store energy for future use and provide a stable source of energy for your household. The money you can save this way can range from $7,000 to $30,000 in the first 20 years of the use. After that, your savings can only be higher.
Use your landscaping
Trees and other flora can reduce your energy bill, more precisely your heating and cooling bill. In the summer, trees will provide shade and reduce cooling costs by almost 25%. On the other hand, in the winter, when the leaves fall off, sunlight will be able to enter your home and keep it warmer.
Once you implement these energy-efficient strategies in your home, soon you’ll start your bill getting lower and your savings higher. You’ll never want to go back to your old energy-wasting habits.
Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also like sharing her advice and knowledge with people. That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.