High Energy Bills? Here are 10 Ways to Save
Are high energy bills preventing you from using your air conditioner and furnace the way you’d like? These 10 tips can help you stay cool in summer and warm in winter — and save money! With a little effort, you can lower your energy bills in Denver all year long.
1. Turn things off
This seems like a no brainer, but how often have you walked out of a room and left the light, radio, TV or other electronic device on? All those wasted minutes of electricity use add up and contribute to higher bills without any benefit. Video games like Xbox3 and PS3, computers and television sets are some of the biggest energy drains.
2. Seal air leaks.
Leaks around doors and windows are like tiny exit signs for your money. It takes a little time and effort to caulk and weatherstrip, but without fixing those gaps you are basically paying to heat and cool the outdoors.
3. Get your furnace and air conditioner tuned up.
Regular maintenance for your HVAC system (ideally in the fall and spring) keeps your equipment running smoothly, prevents breakdowns and extends the life of your equipment. It also helps your system stay as efficient as possible, keeping your energy bills low.
4. Purchase a high efficiency HVAC system.
When it’s time to replace your old equipment, look for Energy Star-rated models and purchase the highest efficiency you can afford. Rebates and tax credits can help offset the initial cost, and energy savings over the life of the system will make it more affordable to operate. Newer models are considerably more efficient than models from just 10 years ago.
5. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees.
Many manufacturers use a factory setting of 140 degrees, but turning it down to the OSHA-recommended 120 degrees is safer and will decrease energy consumption.
6. Buy Smarter bulbs
LED bulbs are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. The cost of an LED bulb (which will be higher) can be recovered in one year (based on 3 hours of use per day). After that, you can just enjoy the savings.
7. Use a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to effortlessly adjust your heating and cooling to maximize energy efficiency. Simply set it to lower or raise the temperature (depending on the season) when you are not home or when you’re sleeping and you’ll no longer be paying for unnecessary heat or air conditioning.
8. Use natural sunlight heating when available.
Take advantage of passive solar. In rooms that get a lot of sun during the day, allow the light in to also warm the space.
9. Improve insulation
Beef up insulation in your walls and attic to prevent heated and cooled air from escaping.
10. Ask your HVAC professional how to make your home more energy efficient.
HVAC technicians are trained to assess your energy needs and determine ways you can save money on new and existing equipment.