In our household it seems we are always looking for ways to cut expenses to help make ends meet. An easy place to invest some money to get a quick payback is efficiency. Here are 5 tips to get started reducing your monthly utility bills.
1. Air seal your home – air sealing requires a low-level of skill and provides a high level of payback. Finding the gaps and cracks that leak your conditioned air to the outside is the key. Places that typically leak in a traditionally built home include light switches, electrical outlets, and around doors. Take off the covers and seal around the electrical outlets and light switches with caulk and weatherstrip the doors to stop the flow of air.
2. Insulate – It is critical to have insulation in the right amount, the right type, in the right places. However, if you are looking for the fastest payback, start in the attic. Typically attic insulation is installed to code minimum standards. Adding that second blanket of insulation in your attic, like you do on your bed in the winter, will make you more comfortable year round.
3. Adjust your thermostat – Turning your thermostat up 1 degree in the summer and down 1 degree in the winter from your typical setting will save you around 3% each month. Installing a programmable thermostat is even better.
4. Capture rainwater – Using rainwater to irrigate your lawn, garden, and flowers will cut your water usage each month. This easy strategy to cut utility bills also captures a better water for your landscape (no added chemicals) so things grow healthy and strong.
5. Install a ceiling fan to cool your home, use a clothes line to dry your clothes, open windows on cool summer nights, and close shades to block unwanted heat gain. So I could not fit it all in 5 tips – go ahead, pick one of these and get started.