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High Energy Bills

High Energy Bills

 

Just about everything in your home that provides you with convenience requires power to operate. Appliances, electronics, lights, heating and cooling are examples of household conveniences that cost money to operate every month. Here is how to lower electricity bill without forfeiting any of these comforts and conveniences.

Unplug electronics when not in use.Many devices consume electricity when plugged in, even if they’re switched off. The average household pays hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year for devices in standby mode that consumers believe are completely off. You can assume a device is leeching a “phantom load” of elec

tricity when it is turned off and it continues to stay warm. Also, any device that features a glowing light when it’s “off” is consuming a phantom load.  These devices can include DVDs, LCD TVs, stereo systems, cell phone chargers and anything with a remote control.

Invest in a programmable thermostat. Set the temperature to automatically adjust when you’re gone every day to save up to 8% on your electricity bill. The ability to program your thermostat enables you to set the temperature back to save money, but it also allows a comfortable temperature to resume before you return home again.  The key factor in a programmable thermostat is that your programming is consistent with your schedule.  A best practice is to not allow the temperature to deviate more than 3-5 degrees from your desired temperature when you are away.

Add a Humidifier.  Dry air doesn’t only affect the people who live in the home. Dry air can also damage furniture, wood floors, and paint in your house. A humidifier not only helps those in your home breathe better, but it also helps maintain the air in your home at a comfortable level for everything inside it. Furthermore, air that’s too dry makes the temperature feel colder than it actually is. Humidification works in conjunction with heating devices to keep you warm during the winter and they save you money on your heating bills.  You will feel more comfortable at a lower temperature setting.

Change filters. If your power bill is too high, this is the simplest way to reduce costs and prolong the lifespan of your heating and cooling equipment. This is possible because a dirty filter restricts airflow, making the equipment work harder and cost you more money. For every 1/16th of an inch of dust, your HVAC system can lose over 20% of its efficiency.

Seal and insulate ductwork. One primary cause of high power bills is the ductwork in your home, which may be leaking air into unoccupied areas of your home. You may be able to seal exposed ducts in the garage, attic and crawlspace yourself, but you may want to invest in an energy audit.  An energy audit will assist in locating where your money is better spent.

Install window coverings. Windows are large areas of energy loss because glass allows heat transfer much more easily than well-insulated walls. Keeping the windows covered during the winter keeps the frosty air at bay. In the summer, thick window coverings keep the hot sun from heating your home. Be sure to open window coverings on sunny winter days so your home is heated naturally for free.

Check for air leaks. Use caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors that aren’t sealed tightly to ease a power bill that’s too high. You should also add insulation to the attic and unventilated crawlspace to prevent energy loss and reduce moisture issues.

Additional ways to save.  Your gas bill is another cost that can be lowered with a few simple steps.   By adding a “jacket” to your hot water heater, it will allow the heat produced to stay inside your unit.  The amount of heat lost can range from 25%-45%, equaling 4%-9% on your gas bill.  By also changing your shower head to one with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute), or low flow fixtures can use only 25%-40% of the water that you are accustomed to.

If you continually find yourself nervous when opening your electric bill, then take a moment, decide if some of the items we brought to your attention are things you can add to a ‘honey-do” list, or maybe it’s time to have a professional come out and take a look! For more information or to schedule a time for Tempo to help, check out our blog or give us a call!

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