5 Solutions to your home energy bill problems
Are your energy bills too high? Did you know the most common causes for high energy bills are poor insulation, outdated equipment or fixtures, and poor energy conservation habits?
Unless you have experience with building or major home repairs (i.e. you are a contractor, or know one personally), there isn’t a whole lot you can do about the first one.
You can certainly update your appliances or “fixtures” which in this case includes lighting fixtures, small appliances and electronics, windows and doors…although this approach can be rather expensive and time consuming. Plus there’s the added risk of “novice error”. If you screw up when installing or repairing a door or window it is very difficult to correct it without a lot of effort. Plus, more energy may be lost than before.
But thankfully, the last option is completely under your control. You can certainly work to improve your energy conservation habits.
Whether you know it or not, every single day you use energy. And if you’re like most Americans, you use more than you realize.
Here are some simple suggested solutions to curb your energy usage and improve your energy conservation efforts.
Understand how you use energy daily. It’s simple. If you know where you use energy every day, you can find how to conserve energy much, much easier. Start at the thermostat and work your way around the house. Do you touch the thermostat? If so, why? Asking yourself why you do something is the key to a good home energy assessment. So, assuming you find a place that you use energy (without even realizing it), you can take immediate corrective action.
Use plug in timers. Adjust the timers seasonally so lights are turned on and off automatically when dusk sets in. And if you go to bed at a certain time, adjust the timer to turn off the lights then.
Background noise is costly. If you run the TV or another appliance strictly for background noise, understand that this is using energy. And depending on the unit, it may be using quite a lot of energy. Use a low power radio or another alternative instead.
Make sure the outer door is closed behind you. Did you know that in colder months, your storm door may actually prevent your heavier, better insulated inner door from closing all the way? Once the storm door closes, it acts like a barrier to the air outside. That’s good. But as soon as you close the heavier door, it forces air into a compressed space against the storm door. Now luckily there are ways for the air to escape, so its not like there is a complete vacuum seal between the two doors. But depending on the doors and the opportunity for air to escape the “slam”, the heavy door may not completely close the first time. Check into this.
Finally, did you know that you might be wasting as much as $30 or more on your outdoor lights a month? When high power halogen lights are used, they use quite a bit of power. Most of the time, these lights are not needed. Putting them on motion sensors only turns them on when needed, saving you money during any season while not detracting from your security.
The only true way to keep your energy costs under control is to use less energy. You use less energy through smart energy conservation.