Homeowners and renters are doing everything they can think of this time of year to save money around their homes. From do-it-yourself projects to updating small appliances, there are plenty of ways to do this. Here are five easy tips everyone can take advantage of on a dime.
1. Programmable Thermostats
Utility bills can be daunting. In the summertime, the cold air needs to be on full blast and in the winter, everyone wants to feel warm and cozy. Programmable or “smart” thermostats are an efficient and inexpensive way to save hundreds of dollars on yearly electricity bills. An energy-saving smart thermostat, available for about $50-$100, can help decrease the cost of heating or cooling your home. It takes the guesswork out of trying to coordinate your home’s temperature with the temperature outside, as well as provides the convenience to set different temperatures at different times, seven days a week. Some models even come equipped with Wi-Fi so you can control the temperature of your house even when you are not home.
2. Go Low-Flow in the Shower
Wasted water during baths and showers is like washing money down the drain. Replacing old and outdated shower heads with new low-flow models is a great way to tackle the monthly utility bill and increase the efficiency of your hot water consumption. Plus it’s a great solution for renters! New spray shower heads use no more than two and a half gallons per minute and provide excellent water pressure. This simple switch could reduce your annual water bill by upwards of $100, depending on frequency. An added bonus is that low-flow shower heads help the environment by conserving fresh water.
3. Unplug Your Appliances
This may come as a surprise, but turning off electronics does not mean that you are eliminating their draw from the electric grid. Many electronic gadgets and appliances, especially computer monitors, consume power even when they’re turned off, but still plugged into an outlet. This phenomenon is known as “phantom power” and can cost you hundreds of dollars annually. By unplugging your appliances, or using a smart power strip, you can save an estimated five to ten percent on your monthly electric bill.
4. Dodge the Draft
Even though homes have doors and windows to keep out the elements, as a house ages, the hot and cold air from outside often creeps in, creating drafts and gusts. Weather-proofing a home is an inexpensive and simple task that can save up to 15 percent on heating and cooling costs. For about $15, you can purchase some of the supplies you need to weather-proof doors and windows. There are a variety of weather-proofing products, including v strip, felt, and foam tape, so make sure to do some research ahead of time to see what your specific home will need. You can also get a home energy audit to discover ways to improve your home’s interior quality.
5. Install Ceiling Fans
Cooling a home is traditionally the most expensive part of running a home during the hot summer months. An air conditioner uses 3,500 watts of energy, while a ceiling fan only uses 60 watts of energy. A new ceiling fan costs anywhere from $50 to $200 and, on average, costs seven dollars per month to run. Decreasing the use of an air conditioner and increasing the use of a ceiling fan can save money and keep a family just as comfortable. Ceiling fans can even be useful during the winter months by setting the fan to run in a clockwise direction. The reverse motion pushes warm air down from the ceiling, keeping everyone warm.
*** Sources for this blog http://bhhsselectstl.com/view-blog/5-tips-to-save-money-around-your-home***
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