Energy Saving can be Big Money Saving!

With winter just around the corner many of us are dreading the inevitable increase in our home energy bills.  Every year it’s the same thing; we turn on the heater and our electric bills soar through the overhead.  In North Texas the winters can be extremely hard and temperatures around the freezing point normal.  Most homeowners just accept that higher electric bills are the price to pain for living in this area but there are many things you can do yourself to cut those costs!

DIY Energy Saving Tips for Your Home

Homeowners can take care of many of the energy saving things themselves without having to call in a professional.  The cost of these fixes can be low and many just require a little time and elbow grease to accomplish.  Here are a few of the easier ones to tackle:

·         Blanket wrap your water heater – Water heater wraps (or water heater insulation jacket) can be found at many outlets and run in the range of $30-40.  These can help to reduce the cost of running your water heater by as much as 10%. 

·         Turn down your thermostat – Studies have shown that turning down your thermostat by only 3 degrees can result in a saving of about $200 a year. 

·         Wash clothes in cold water wherever possible. 

·         Change your heating/ac filter regularly – A small thing like changing the air filter can produce big energy savings.  When the filter becomes clogged it causes the system to work harder and increases your electric usage.

·         Let sunshine in – Whenever possible open curtains facing the sun to allow the sun to warm up the room.

·         Close curtains at night – Curtains help to retain warmth in a room.

·         Turn ceiling fans to pull air up – Cold air is held near the floor while warm air rises.  Reversing the ceiling fans to pull up will circulate the cooler air upward and push the warmer air down resulting in an increase in the overall temperature of the room.

·         Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs – Newer LED light bulbs (although more expensive) use far less electricity and have a much longer life.  Some studies have shown that they can last as much as 100,000 hours or 11 years of continuous use.

·         Increase attic insulation – You don’t have to be a professional to add insulation to your attic.  If you are in an area where temperatures will be sub-freezing it is recommended that you have at least R-30 or about 11 inches or more of insulation.

·         Insulation around doors and windows – This is one area where many homes lose much of their heating.  A simple check to ensure that caulking is not broken or missing around windows and seals around doors (particularly at the bottom) are in good shape will produce a big energy savings.

·         Use Power Strips – Many of today’s electronics consume energy even when turned off.  To conserve electricity install power strips on electronic devices and also turn off the power strip when not in use.

Energy Saving That May Require a Professional

Although many of us may be hesitant to call a professional for something that we don’t feel is broken, this can actually produce big energy savings in the long run.  Look into these areas where you may need professional help.

·         Consider having an energy audit conducted – This type audit can point out possible areas of energy loss that you may not be aware of that can be big savings.

·         Heating System Check Up – Before each winter season it is advisable to have your heater checked out by a professional for two reasons: efficiency of your system and safety of your family.  The technician will check all connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger parts to ensure safety and efficiency.

·         Programmable Thermostat – Instead of having to constantly be adjusting your thermostat you should consider having a fully programmable thermostat installed.  This type thermostat can automatically adjust your system for evening or times when the house will be empty thereby saving you money.

·         Have duct system checked for leaks – This can be an area where much of your heating is lost.  Small leaks can result in big energy losses.  A professional will have the materials handy to fix any leaks discovered quickly.  Additionally, a duct system should have a regular cleaning.  We have the dirt and dust caused by the shedding of skin and hair that makes its way in from the outside, along with debris and, if you have a pet, you will more likely to see a higher volume of those particles in your home. On top of that, if you live in a humid climate area, the likelihood of mold developing in your home and in those air filtration systems is pretty high so you should consider duct cleaning as part of your regular maintenance.

    The final piece of the winter energy saving puzzle is to ensure that your entire family is educated on what they can each do to save energy.  Simple turning off lights when not in use and dressing for winter, even indoors can go a long way to reduce costs.  Home energy savings is a family job, make sure everyone knows their part.

 Contact Metro Energy Savers for Energy Saving Help

If you have any questions about energy saving or need to talk with a professional contact Metro Energy Savings in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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