Home Improvement Tips That Instantly Lower Your Energy Bill
It’s one piece of mail homeowners dread every month: the utility bill. Considering the average annual utility bill is $2,200, according to energystar.gov, it’s no wonder homeowners cringe every time it arrives. What if you opened your bill and, to your surprise, it was lower than expected? With a few simple steps, that is possible.
Cooling and water heating are among the top energy drains in a home, according to Energy Star statistics, so it’s wise to focus your home improvement efforts on those areas. A few simple steps can lower your monthly bill significantly, plus you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. Here are a couple tips for giving your home an energy-efficient facelift:
Change your home’s air filter regularly
Smart homeowners will check their home’s air filter every month to see if it needs replacing. How can you tell if it’s time to swap in a new one? Look at the color — if it appears gray or brown, or you can visibly see particles or pet fur, it’s time for a fresh one. A filter helps keep air flowing in your home and takes out dust, dander and other microscopic debris floating in the air. A dirty filter slows air flow, making your heating and cooling system work harder, costing you more money. Air filters should be replaced every one to three months.
Lower the temperature on your water heater
To lower energy costs, consider lowering your water heater’s temperature setting. Try somewhere around 120 degrees Fahrenheit and see if that is sufficient in supplying your home with hot water for showers, laundry, dishes, etc. Each 10 degree reduction in water temperature can save 3 to 5 percent, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. If you go on vacation, remember you can turn your water heater down to the lowest setting to save even more while you’re gone and it’s not in use.
From changing your air filter on a regular basis to lowering the temperature on your water heater, these changes can have a big impact on your utility bill, plus they’re environmentally