Save Money on Your Energy Bills

There are several things you can do to help ease the monthly cost of electricity or heating or cooling your home. Some options require money up front, but after several months the savings on your energy bill can make up for it.

1. Utilize your thermostat. Turn the temperature down in winter, or up in summer, when you’re not home. Just a few degrees should be enough to keep the furnace or air conditioner from kicking on. Then turn it back to where you usually keep it when you return home. This way you aren’t running the furnace at full speed for eight hours in an empty house while everyone is at school or work.

2. In summer, utilize windows and fans. Sometimes, especially in early morning or late at night, opening a window and turning on a fan can make you as comfortable as when you turn on the a/c.

3. In winter, utilize blankets. If you usually keep the thermostat at 74, for example, and turn it to 72 and use a blanket, the heat won’t kick on quite as much and you’ll keep warm as well.

4. If you have a swamp cooler or window unit for air conditioning, put a tarp on it in winter months. This probably seems like common sense to most people, but some people don’t ever think of it. It reduces the draft coming through these objects and that area of your home won’t feel so drafty, then you won’t feel the need to crank up the heat to compensate.

5. Consider storm windows (double paned). They are an added expense at first, but are much less likely to be drafty than the single pane windows. Over a year, the savings on the energy bill can help offset the cost. There is also an insulating device that can be applied to single paned windows to cut down on draft.

6. Insulate your house well. A well insulated house holds heat better in winter, and cool air better in summer. It also cuts down on drafts.

7. Block or plug up any drafty spots, such as gaps under doors. If you don’t feel a draft, you probably won’t feel as cold in winter. And in summer, your cool air will be less likely to leak outside the house.

8. Consider solar panels. Some electric companies reimburse you for part of the initial cost of the panels. Why not use your own energy instead of paying a company for it? And there have been cases, in Colorado at least, of people generating more electricity than they use, and the excess energy being sent to the electric company. The electric company will pay you for whatever you send their way.

9. Lastly, use common sense. Do not leave appliances on if no one’s using them. It may not seem like a big deal, but if something is left on all day every day, after a year you’ve probably spent more than a few dollars for the electricity it used.

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