How to Cut Your Utility Bills Room by Room
An energy-efficient home is a goal for many homeowners. Not only is it good for the environment, but it can also cut down on monthly utility bills. Fortunately, making your home more energy-efficient is not an arduous task. In fact, transforming your home is an easy process that can be done one room at a time. By following these steps, you will be on your way to saving money in no time.
The kitchen is often a place where a good deal of energy is spent. Whether it's cooking on the stove top or keeping perishable food cold, kitchen appliances eat up a lot of electricity. Thankfully, there are a few habits you can learn to help curb these energy consumers.
The refrigerator is often the hub of a kitchen and it also eats up more energy than all other appliances put together. To avoid excessive energy loss, only open the fridge when you absolutely need to retrieve something, allow hot foods to cool before storing, and make sure the condenser coils are cleaned at least twice a year.
The less you use the dishwasher, the better. Only run the dishwasher when it's full, but be careful not to pack it too tightly. The dishwasher will clean better if there is more space for the hot water to move around.
Stove and Oven
The best rule of thumb is to use the stove and oven only when necessary. When possible, use a microwave instead. Microwaves use less energy than their counterparts and do not take as much time to cook.
Washers are another workhorse in the house that consume a lot of energy and water. To keep the energy loss at a minimum, use the washer only when you have a full load. Also, do not overdo it when it comes to detergent. More suds will cause the washer to work harder.
In contrast to the washer, you do not want to overstuff the dryer. Clothes will dry faster when they have more room to tumble. Furthermore, excess drying should be avoided. Not only does over-drying wear out clothes, but it also takes more energy. Lastly, make sure the lint catcher is cleaned on a regular basis.
Lights are a big energy consumer in most homes. To cut down on their use, try compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when replacing standard light bulbs. These lights use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs. Also, dimmer switches and motion detector lights will help prevent lights staying on for lengthy amounts of time.
Electronic devices use energy even when they're not plugged in. To remedy this, simply unplug your computer, coffee maker, and other devices whenever they're not in use. To make the process simpler, considering purchasing a quality power strip that will turn everything off with a push of a button.
If your home has a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when it's not in use. Warm air can easily escape through the chimney and cause your furnace to work overtime to make up for the loss. Additionally, never run the fireplace and the furnace at the same time.
Windows are problem areas for many homes. After time, caulking around windows wears out, allowing air to easily escape. To prevent the loss of energy, install drapes with insulating liners. Also, remember to fix caulking issues and buy additional weather stripping when needed.
If you have ceiling fans, make sure they're put to good use all year. Most fans have a switch to change the blade rotation depending on the time of year. In both winter and summer, a good ceiling fan will help circulate air, which means less work for other units.
Showers are notorious for using too much water. To cut down on your water bill, choose low flow shower heads. You can also insulate your water tank to help sustain hot water for longer periods of time.
Toilets and Sinks
Low flow and dual flush toilets can save a lot of water on an annual basis. Also, installing a faucet aerator can save water when you use the sink and will pay for itself over time.