With the fall and winter months once again quickly approaching, let’s discuss ways you can reduce utility costs and increase your savings.
Utility costs usually are a significant impact on your budget and can rarely be eliminated. According to the Energy Information Administration, about 42% of home energy cost go to heating and cooling. By following these few simple steps, you could see savings on your utility costs each month.
- Adjust your thermostat – During winter months simply dropping your thermostat by 1 degree could save you as much as 3% on your monthly heating bill. Likewise, increasing the temperature by 1 degree during summer months can increase your savings. Install a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature when you are not at home. Energy.gov suggest that turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day could save you as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling costs.
- Sleep Mode – Setting your computer to “sleep” mode helps decrease electricity consumption by one-third or more!
- Adjust ceiling fans – In the summer, ceiling fan blades should rotate in a counterclockwise of “forward” direction to create cool downward airflow. In the winter, fan blades rotate in a clockwise or “reverse” direction to redistribute warm air, which naturally rises to the top of the ceiling.
- Bathroom and Kitchen Fans – Use your bathroom and kitchen fans only when necessary. These fans suck heated and cooled air out of your home which increases your heating and cooling costs.
- Water Heater – Placing an insulated blanket around your water heater helps keep the heat from escaping the water heater.
- Furnace Maintenance – Be sure to schedule an annual furnace checkup and change your filters at least twice a year
- Light bulbs – Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. Switching to more energy efficient lighting can have a significant impact on your utility bill. When not in use, turn off the lights.
- Energy Audits – Take advantage of free “energy audits” from participating utility companies.
- Plug air leaks – A few easy and inexpensive ways to reduce air leaks is putting plastic over your windows, caulking gaps, insulating the attic entrance and using foam insulators that come with outlet covers and light switches.
- Replace your appliances – When you replace your appliances look for the Energy Star symbol that indicates efficient energy usage. Some utility companies offer rebates to customers who purchase certain Energy Star appliances.
- Renewable forms of energy – Americans are continuing to make improvements to their homes. One way to reduce utility cost is renewable forms of energy. Installing solar power panels, for example, may have greater up-front cost, but the savings on your utility bills can be quite dramatic. State and federal tax credits also can lower the cost of using renewable energy sources.
Following just a few of these suggestions can help you save each month on your utility costs. Why not place those utility savings into a savings account at Members CU.