Sometimes keeping up the Joneses is about keeping your electric bills down
With temperatures on the rise, now is a perfect time to make your home more energy-efficient. ENERGY STAR® offers suggestions for how to reduce your annual electricity costs by up to a third—that adds up to about $700 savings per year! Listed below are six of the biggest energy wasters in your home. Following these quick tips will help you save both energy and money.
1. HVAC Systems
HVAC systems account for 46 percent of your overall electric bill.
Change filters regularly. Furnace and air conditioner filters need to be changed monthly, especially during the summer and winter months when the HVAC unit has a heavy workload.
Install a thermostat. To save even more, you can install a programmable thermostat, letting you regulate your home’s temperature throughout the year.
Seal the cracks and gaps. Seal your heating and cooling ducts, especially those running through the attic, crawlspace, basement or garage. This can improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit by as much as 20 percent!
2. Water Heater
Lower standby losses. The average household spends $400-$600 per year on water heating. Eliminate standby losses by lowering the heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
Out with the old and in with the new. Lighting accounts for about 12 percent of your bill. Just simply replace five of your standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs to save $70 a year.
Clean the refrigerator inside and out. Check the temperature settings on your refrigerator. Ideally, a refrigerator’s temperature should be between 37 and 40 degrees for maximum operating efficiency.
Replacing a refrigerator that is 10 to 15 years old may help you save in the long run. Energy-efficient appliances can save you as much as $100 a year.
5. Energy Vampires
Unplug and save. Energy vampires consume 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances. Any appliance or device that sucks up energy when it’s plugged in, despite being turned off, is draining your bill.
Don’t just turn energy vampires off—unplug them. ENERGY STAR® suggests: plugging your television and/or DVD player into a power strip and then turning that off when your television is in stand-by mode; put your computers on sleep mode; unplug a battery charger of adapter.
Unplug to save more for fun. It costs you about $120 if to leave your Xbox plugged in for an entire year. Unplug video game consoles when you are not playing and limit the use of stand-by mode.
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