6 Tips to Lower Your Energy Costs This Year

Winter brings with it the celebration of festive holidays and ringing in the New Year, but the cold weather brought by the winter season brings a big, fat heating bill. Here are 6 tips that can give you a little extra holiday spending money by saving you some money on your power bill.

If you change your air filters in the furnace or heating unit in your home, you can save up to $100 per year. You have to change the filters every 3 months to reap these savings and the cost of changing your filters will average about $30 per year. You should choose a pleated model of air filter because the pleated design not only works more effectively, it is also cheaper!

To save around $100 dollars per year off your energy bill, you should buy and install a programmable thermostat. You can purchase a programmable thermostat for about $100 dollars. These devices are easily installed, there is no need to have an electrician install them. The thermostat will pay for itself in the first year and after that, you will still be saving $100 every year.

Add a water heater blanket to your water heater and you can save around $34 per year for a gas water heater and about $54 per year for an electric water heater. A water heater blanket gives the greatest benefit when used on a water heater that is 10 or more years old. These water heaters were not very well insulated and a lot of power is used in maintaining the heated water stored in the tank. A water heater blanket will cost you about $20.

If you inspect your home’s heating and air ductwork and find that there are some leaks, patch these to save 10-20% of your total energy cost. This can be a dramatic savings in a year’s time! You should just run your hands over the ducts and where you feel air leaking out, patch the spots. Don’t use duct tape, however, it will only come loose and you will only have to redo the project. You should use a puttylike duct mastic (about $30 for 2 gallons) and paint it on the duct where you notice the leaks.

Count the light bulbs that are in your home. I have 37. If I could save $5 per light bulb per year, this would give me a total yearly savings of $185. This is easy to achieve if you replace your standard bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs. Not only do they save energy, they are also more environmentally friendly and they last a lot longer than standard bulbs!

If you are in the mood for a major project that could cut your energy costs in half, you should think about upgrading your home’s heating and cooling equipment. Upgraded heating and cooling equipment can save you between 24 – 50 percent of your total energy costs. It could cost you between 3 to 6 thousand dollars for a new furnace and air condition unit, but depending on your monthly energy costs, the purchase will pay for itself within 1-3 years and the savings over the life of the equipment will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. You will also receive a tax credit for upgrading this equipment. The tax credits are: Central AC Units- $300, Water Heaters-$300, and for a furnace or boiler the tax credit is $150.

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