According to the Energy Department, household utility bills have increased by at least 10 percent over the past year.
If you’re looking for some ways to lower your energy costs, consider the following four remodeling projects as you upgrade your home.
Focus on your largest energy drain. Heating and cooling systems account for the largest portion of most utility bills. If your unit is more than ten years old, upgrading to a newer, Energy Star certified model can save you 20 to 40 percent off the cost of your electric usage.
Take a look at your water heater. If the thermostat is set higher than 120 degrees, adjust it down. You really don’t need for the water to be any hotter than that, and heating it more than necessary just wastes energy. Consider a tankless water heater to save even more money. And, rethink the way you do laundry; most loads will get plenty clean on the cold cycle.
Weatherize your home. Check and repair seals around doors and windows to stop energy leakage. Replace insulation that has ever gotten wet, and consider extra insulation in spots that could use more.
Replace light fixtures. Install newer light fixtures that use less electricity, and fit them with LED bulbs. If you use an outdoor light, connect it to a motion detector so that it only turns on when you need it.
And of course, talk to your family members about their energy usage. Remind everyone to turn off lights when leaving rooms, wash some dishes by hand to reduce dishwasher usage, run ceiling fans instead of the air conditioner, unplug appliances when not in use, turn off TVs and computers at night, and stop monkeying with the thermostat! A little savings here and there will go a long way.
And if you’re considering any remodeling projects, give us a call. We can help you upgrade your home with energy-efficient features that will serve you well into the future.