It is never too late or too early to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. The first place to start is with your home and you will be surprised at what you can do to reduce those monthly bills. Here is a short list on the things you can start with to achieve your goals. Once you start seeing your monthly bills go down it will inspire you to look for more, deeper, and bigger ways to reduce those bills.
Change your filters. One of the things we don’t really think about is the filters in our central units. When you turn on your air conditioner, fan or heater you are filtering the air in your house through this filter in your central unit. When you don’t routinely change this filter you are causing your system to work harder, use more electric and pump all the “stuff” you don’t want back into the home. You can purchase filters that are reusable that can be removed washed and replaced. These filters cost a little more but will save you in the end since you will not have to continue purchasing more filters. These filters should be removed cleaned monthly.
Turn off and unplug. Did you know that some things you use daily like a computer, tv or monitor will still draw power even when it is shut off? This little drip of electric going to these items will add up over time. Turning them off is good but turning off the power strip or unplugging them is better. But turning off the units or even unplugging will extend the life of the unit and cutting off the trickle of electricity will help your bills in the long run.
Go tankless. Most homes have a 50 gallon hot water tank; one of the biggest ways to save energy is to switch that tank with a tankless water heater. A standard water heater will have a surge of electricity after every bath, load of laundry and sink of dishes you wash. Every time there is a drain in the tank it takes energy to heat the water to be ready to use. Periodically throughout the day it will also kick in to consistently heat the water to maintain the temperature needed to be ready for you to use. Another great alternative to a tankless water heater is a solar water heater. This consists of a 50 gallon tank connected to a solar panel that heats and maintains the temperature even at night! Also think about replacing that shower head with a shower head or shower systems that saves water.
Insulation is the name of the game. You can never have too much insulation but you can have too little. Let’s look at the biggest bandit of heating and cooling…windows and doors. Check your windows and doors to make sure the seals are tight with no leaking or cracking. Re-caulk, change the weather stripping and door sweeps as needed. If you have blown insulation, how old is it? Did you know that cellulose insulation has a typical lifespan of around 20 to 30 years? How old is your home? How old is your blown insulation? Is it still up to code? To get the best results your attic insulation should he at the least R13 but the best is R19. If you have single pane windows replace them with double pane to get the best results.
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