The current high prices of heating fuel and electrical energy are making the cost staying warm in the cold weather unbearable. Energy department officials estimate the average family in the United States spends $1,600 on energy a year and the cost can’t help but increase with crude oil always threatening to climb to $100 per barrel. There are many things a homeowner can do to reduce energy waste and save money. Many projects cost little or will payback their cost quickly.
Energy Reduction Hints for Homeowners
- Make sure attic and wall spaces are well insulated. Most insulation projects are suitable for many do it yourselfers and there many qualified contractors that specialize in insulation work.
- Wash laundry and clothes only when you have a full load ready to go. Switching to cold water washing for the laundry will save 85% of the energy needed for the hot water
- Consider air drying the dishes instead of using the washers drying cycle
- During the winter, keep your curtains open during the day to capture the sun’s energy and close them at night to help retain heat
- Lower your thermostat. There is a 3% reduction in heating costs for every degree you lower it
- Consider the purchase of a programmable thermostat
- Don’t turn the heat off completely when you are not home, just lower it to 13° C (55° F)
- Seal around doors and windows with caulking or weather stripping to keep warm air from leaking out of your home
- You may be able close the door and isolate unused rooms in your home to reduce the overall space heated
- Install water saving devices like faucet aerators, low flow shower heads and low flush toilets
- Buy Energy Star rated energy efficient electrical appliances
- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs
- Converting to a new high efficiency furnace can save some homeowners 40% on their fuel bill
- Change your furnace air filter regularly.
- Check to see floor supply registers are clean and not blocked by furniture
- Check for government grants, rebates, and tax credits for energy related improvements. Both Canada and the United States have programs for consumers
- Hire an energy consulting company to conduct an audit of your house