If you are like most homeowners, you live on a budget. You try to keep costs down and avoid spending money unnecessarily. When it comes to home costs, there are several ways that you can keep them lower, allowing you to save money and stay on budget.
#1 Paint the Roof White
A study was performed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group. It found that when the building is painted white, it requires less energy to cool than black roofs. According to the study, it would require 40 percent less energy, which can save you over $100 each year on your cooling costs. There are inexpensive white coatings on the market that are not only flexible, but they are also waterproof. Not only will these coatings reduce your energy bills, they will also increase the life of your roof.
#2 Do a Thorough Energy Check Before Bed
It is not uncommon to forget to turn things off before you go to bed. This can be very costly. For example, if you leave a ceiling fan running 24 hours a day for a year, it can cost you over $165. Before you go to bed, turn off the ceiling fans. The same is true with your cable box. If you leave it on and just turn off the television it can waste money. Doing this for a year can cost you over $17 each year. Even leaving your cell phone on the charger after it is fully charged can cost you money. Before you go to bed each night, you should make sure that everything has been turned off.
#3 Set Your Water Heater at 120 Degrees
If you set your water heater properly, you can save yourself a great deal of money. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if you set your water heater at 140 degrees or higher, you can waste $61 each year to keep the water at that temperature. Also, to get fresh water up to 140 degrees, it will cost you $400 each year. In order for a dishwasher and washing machine to clean properly, the hot water needs to be set to just 120 degrees. Also, at this temperature, there is no risk of children being scalded.
#4 Have Your Heating System Maintained
In order for your heating system to run as efficiently as possibly, it should be maintained yearly. Before the heating season begins, you should have a professional check your furnace and change your air vent filters. If your heating system is not properly maintained, it can cost you several hundred dollars more on your heating bill.
#5 Upgrade Your Dated Appliances
If you have old appliances, you should replace them with energy efficient ones. Not only will this save you money on your energy bill, you can also take advantage of financial incentives. Some companies offer rebate checks when you purchase energy efficient appliances. Also, you can take advantage of certain tax breaks and incentives when you upgrade.
#6 Seal Up the Leaks
If you have small leaks in your home, it is the same as leaving your window open all winter. A good way to save money on your heating costs is to go around the house and look for leaks. Pay special attention to the areas around the windows and door frames, around the top of the basement wall at the rim joist, and around the holes where the pipes enter the home. If there are leaks, you can fill them in with caulking or with expanding foam. This can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your heating bill.
#7 Compare Your Meter and Your Energy Bill
Meter readers are only human, therefore, they can make mistakes. When you get your energy bill, you should compare the number on your meter with the number on your bill. If the amount on your meter is lower than the amount on your bill, you are being overcharged. It only takes a few seconds, and it can keep you from paying the power company more than you should.
#8 Buy a Programmable Thermostat
If you have an older manual thermostat, you should replace it with an energy-efficient one. This will allow you to set the temperature in the home to go down automatically when you are at work or in bed. You can also set it to turn up when you are coming home from work or when you are about to wake up.
There are several ways that you can save money on your energy costs. Many of these are very simple. When you start receiving lower energy bills, it will make these changes worth it.