Improving your finances starts with controlling expenses, and your utility bill is a major home expense. There are some smart, affordable ways to reduce your energy usage and bring those bills in line. When you are ready to start saving money on utilities every month, consider making these efficient improvements.
1. Functional Curtains
Curtains can often be purely decorative. However, they can also serve a valuable role in your energy efficiency plan. In the summer, leave curtains closed against the sun to keep the heat out. In the winter, open up the curtains and let natural light help warm the space. Maximize your efforts by hanging lined, thermal curtains.
2. Replace Old, Dry Caulk
Inspect your home carefully. Look for areas where the caulk is shrinking and drying out. These represent points where air or water can enter the structure. Remove the failing caulk and replace it with a fresh layer to help make the home airtight again.
3. Go Digital
Update that old thermostat with an advanced, new option that is smart and energy efficient. Digital thermostats, such as the SensiTM Wi-Fi Thermostat, provide you with greater control over temperature, both when you are home and when you are away. This helps lower your utility bills while keeping your home comfortable.
4. Clean It
Replace your furnace filter regularly to ease the strain on your HVAC equipment. The ComfortGuardTM Monitoring Service helps you keep your filter clean by alerting you when it needs to be replaced. You should also clean your refrigerator and air conditioner coils of dust and grime to help the appliances run efficiently. Most of your appliances will run more efficiently and drain less energy when they are clean and maintained
5. A Clean Look and Airtight Interior
Running a bead of caulk between your baseboards and floors provides you with several benefits: it helps keep dirt from getting into this area, creates a clean look, and seals off gaps. Go through the home and put a line of caulk between any baseboards and hard flooring surfaces.
New weatherstripping only costs a few dollars at the store and can make a big difference. Check the weatherstripping around your doors and windows. Replace any sections that are missing or damaged to help stop air movement, making the home more efficient. If you have slightly raised thresholds, use door sweeps on the bottom of the door to help close this seam and eliminate drafts.
7. Insulate the Garage
Many homes have attached garages that are not insulated. Since this is not part of your living space, you may not think it matters. However, an insulated garage will help protect your home from heat loss during cold winter weather and a little more comfortable during periods of extreme heat.
8. Think Small
Sometimes, the greatest heat loss comes through the tiniest areas. The spaces around outlets and light switches in exterior walls tend not to be insulated. You can remove the faceplates and add insulation to help seal up the home and make each room more comfortable.
9. Better Attic Insulation
Attic insulation compresses over time and loses its ability to block drafts. Make the home warmer by investing in a fresh layer of insulation across the entire attic.
10. Move the Furniture
Furniture that is blocking an air vent makes your home less energy efficient. In addition to creating a clear path for your supply vents, ensure that your return air vents are also clear. Your home will be more energy efficient and you will save money as a result.
Of course, new windows and HVAC equipment are great ways to lower your energy bill, but those may not be in the budget. Save on your utilities for less by making some of these smart, cost-effective changes.