Energy Saving Ideas for Your Home
So, you want to save money on your Westchester County house bills and put more dough in your pockets. You open up your mail and there it is- $30-$40 + more than last month. You scratch your head and wonder why have the utilities gone up? Could it be the taxes are higher? Maybe, but not that much. Have you been keeping the house too warm, or washing your clothes in hot water- a lot? Maybe it's time you converted your home into an energy-efficient house. You'll save time and money by fixing up your home now and you'll see the difference in your bills next month.
How can you make your home more energy-efficient? Here are some ways to improve the way you live:
Air Ducts- Have your ducts checked for any separation at the joints and fix them if there is. You could be saving yourself up to 20% on your heating-cooling bills.
Gaps- Weather strip gaps in door frames and windows to save at least 10% on your heating bills. You can also caulk gaps where electrical wiring and pipes protrude from exterior walls, and plug all leaks.
Heat-Recovery Ventilator- During colder months, your bills are higher. You don't need the additional headache of wondering if your heating is going out the window. Why not install a heat-recovery ventilator- they gather about 70% of the heat from the air exiting the house and reconnect it to the fresh air coming in.
Insulation- Add layers to certain parts of your home that has poor insulation such as the attic, crawl spaces or the floors above basements, and exterior walls. For most applications, rigid boards and batts will do just fine and for side wall cavities, sprayed-in foam is best suited for the job. Remember- no matter the job- you can always mix and layer different forms of insulation.
Light Bulbs- Lose the cheap incandescent bulbs and buy ones that are CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light). They are more expensive, but they last up to ten times longer and use 70-75% less energy.
Major Appliances- Get rid of them if they are more than seven years old and replace with a newer model that carries the Energy Star' label.
Thermostat- Turn the heat down to around 65 degrees while you and your family are home. While you all are gone, bring it down 10 more degrees- you'll save more money that way. Who wouldn't want to save at least 10% on their heating bill each month?
Trees - Don't cut them down! According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, you should have windbreaks of evergreen trees and shrubs to the N, W, and E of your home to reduce wind 10-15%.
Water Heater - Did you know that 14% of an average home's energy expenses goes toward heating water for bathing and washing? In just 10 months you could see a big difference in your water bill by covering your water heater in an insulating blanket.
Windows - Buy energy efficient windows which can save you up to 27%