High Energy Bills
One reason for high energy bills is an increase in the price of electricity or heating fuel. However, it is common to trace high energy bills to an inefficient component (windows, heating and cooling equipment, ducts or insulation) of your home, or a failure of one of these components to perform as intended. It is not always easy to pinpoint the problem, but fixing it can make your home more energy efficient and comfortable.
To improve the energy efficiency of your home start with an evaluation of your home's energy use.
- To get started today use the Home Improvement Yardstick at www.energystar.gov to score your home's energy use and generate a customized list of improvement. You will need one year of your utility bills handy.
- For best results hire a contractor who is an energy specialist to do an in-home evaluation. A good specialist will use diagnostic equipment to evaluate the performance of your home and generate a customized list of improvements.
- Improvements may include sealing air leaks, adding insulation or sealing duct air leaks. Some of these you can do yourself, but you may prefer to hire a contractor.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F.
- Replace the light bulbs in your highest usage lights with ENERGY STAR CFL bulbs.
- When replacing lighting or appliances look for ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures and appliances.
- Install an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat, and use it to save energy while you are away at work.
- Contact your utility and ask if they offer any programs to help lower energy bills.