3 Simple Ways to Save Money on Rising Energy Costs
Rising energy costs are affecting people worldwide after the COVID-19 pandemic, and many Americans have struggled to keep up with their monthly expenses.
One-in-five Americans failed to pay their monthly heating bill in full at least once this past winter.
Nearly 30% of our fellow citizens reduced or went without basic needs such as food and medicine to pay their energy bills in the last year.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts continuing increases in energy costs in 2022.
This trend has forced many Americans to look for ways to conserve energy not only to decrease their environmental impact but to lower their at-home energy costs.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient (With Actionable Steps)
Luckily, there are ways to save money on rising energy bills by making your home more energy-efficient.
Before going through the following steps, it is good to review your energy bill. The average electricity consumption is about 1000 kW/month. If yours is higher than this, you have great potential for future savings.
1. Adjust the Temperature of Your Home
Minor changes in your thermometer settings can save you money and help improve your home's energy efficiency.
Here are a few ways to adjust the temperature to reduce at-home energy costs:
- Consider the location of your thermostat
- Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the winter
- Turn the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer
- Make use of natural sunlight
- Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees
Consider the location of your thermostat:
Keep your thermostat away from any areas where it may be exposed to extreme temperatures. These sudden temperature changes can trick the thermostat into believing the room is a lot hotter or colder than it is.
Examples of extreme temperature areas can include:
- Near a door that can let in warm or cold air from the outside
- Close to windows that cast warm sunshine directly on the thermostat
- Outside a bathroom door where the thermostat can be exposed to warm steamy air
- Nearby TV sets or lamps, as these devices produce heat that could throw off thermostats sensors
Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the winter/Turn the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer:
Often people like to keep their thermometer at a set temperature to keep their heating and cooling systems from working too hard to get their home to a comfortable temperature.
However, adjusting the set temperature while not at home can cut back on heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.
Homes that are energy efficient will hold a steady temperature for hours longer than homes which are not energy efficient.
Make use of natural sunlight:
Also, natural sunlight can help you keep your home warm in the winter. During the winter months, let the sunlight in to help warm rooms with plenty of windows.
With proper window coverings such as blackout or UV curtains, blocking out those same windows during the summer can help you keep your home cooler.
If you windows are older, they are likely also not as efficient as modern windows. Premier Home Solutions is your local complete window replacement resource. Our windows were designed in house for maximum energy efficiency, and are Energy Star® certified. This means our window meet the governments highest standards for reducing air loss.
Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees:
While thinking about temperature control in your house, check on your water heater. Adjusting the tank to 120 degrees is manageable for most homes. This adjustment also helps reduce accidental scalding and can slow the build-up of minerals in your water tank.
Replace old or damaged insulation
The biggest ally to maintaining your homes temperature is the insulation. If your home is over 5 years old, it might be a good idea to examine the insulation in your home. Fiberglass insulation is not the best choice for todays homes. It was and still is widely used, but it can provide pests with nesting space, and loses its effectiveness if it gets wet.
Spray in cellulose insulation is great for attics that don't have enough insulation to begin with. Cellulose is more environmentally friendly than fiberglass insulation and more economical than other choices. It provides quality insulation in spaces where insulation can be allowed to settle.
Spray foam insulation is the most effective and also the most environmentally friendly option. Available in different types for each unique situation, spray foam can be used to seal air leaks and fill spaces that need insulation where settling would be a problem. It fills any cavity it is applied too and does not settle over time. This type of insulation can be added to attics and even sprayed into existing walls without requiring tearing apart drywall. The noise dampening and water proof nature of spray foam, are bonus qualities that cellulose and fiberglass insulation, do not offer.
2. Stop heated or cooled air from escaping your home
Let's face it, gaps in and around the house is one of the biggest contributors to waisted home energy. Heated or cooled air can escape a home easily through gaps in walls, around windows and other areas you might not think. Critters such as mice and spiders also use these gaps as if they had an open invitation.
The solution is to ensure all areas of your home are properly sealed. We offer a blower door test that allows our technicians to quickly identify where conditioned air is escaping your home. Our team will then create a plan to seal up these leaks for good.
The average home loses enough heated or cooled air through air gaps, it has been compared to leaving a window open year round. You wouldn't throw money out the window. Proper air sealing keeps that money in your pocket, and pays for itself over a few short years.
3. Schedule a Home Energy Audit
If you’ve completed the above steps and still need more ideas on how to increase your home's energy efficiency, then you should consider scheduling a home energy audit.
Premier Home Solution's home energy audits identify problem areas in your home and allows us to make a plan to fit your budget, and maximize your return on investment.
While there are ways to DIY your home energy audit, it does require a lot of work and is often not as effective unless you are very familiar with the products and techniques the pros use. Scheduling a home energy audit with a professional company can help make sure you don’t miss any potential savings as well.
Plus, our BPI certified home energy auditors, have access to state of the art tools like infrared cameras, gadgets to detect drafts, and other energy issues with your home. Such issues may be caused by poor or damage insulation, out of date windows & doors, or even gaps in your home that allow heated air out and creepy crawly critters in.
According to Energy.gov, you can save an average of 10 - 20% on your annual energy costs if you address common issues found during home energy audits. These improvements Pay for themselves over time!
Schedule your free no obligation home energy consultation today!
Although rising energy costs can seem like an ongoing problem, we can help reduce your costs and upgrade your home's environmental footprint.
For more information and energy-saving resources, contact Premier Home Solutions today.
Energy.gov - Thermostat Savings This Winter
The United States Census Bureau - Household Pulse Survey (housing 4 Week 39)
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) - EIA forecasts higher U.S. heating bills this winter