There are some basic common sense methods that will improve your bottom line and leave you with more jingle in your pocket. Here are just a few:
- Keep the fireplace damper closed. Seal the ductwork and make sure you have a timer on the bathroom exhaust fan.
- Turn down the heat. You’ll typically save 1 percent to 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree you dial down.
- We recently had a humidifier installed and it saved us nearly $40 a month on our bill. Before long it will pay for itself and our air does not seem so dry and we’re less stuffy in the mornings.
- Log off your computer and shut it down at night. Unused equipment consumes energy and warms your space which pushes up air conditioning costs in the summer. Highly efficient Energy Star equipment and appliances often carry no cost premium but use 20-50% less energy. Remember to flip light switches off when you leave a room. It’s a simple thing – but can make a big difference!
According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce your heating and cooling needs by 30% just by adding a few batts of new insulation in your attic if your house is more than 25 years old.
- It can be expensive to have a gas-powered fireplace. By trial and error, we decided to invest in a space heater for our office space in the basement and leave the fireplace turned off.
- If you can see daylight under your doors, it’s probably time for new weather-stripping. It’s fairly simple to replace – just remove the old and nail on the new.
- Consider drawing up a service contract with a professional who will come to your house to make sure your furnace and A/C are working properly. Replace the furnace filter once a month. The professional will make sure nothing is obstructing an outdoor heat pump and verify that your furnace is not on “emergency heat” as this will turn off energy-efficient settings and could double your heating costs.
Electrical cables, gas lines and pipes that enter your house may have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with a caulk, but that will eventually crack, peel and fall off. These gaps let air inside the house and are entry points for mice and other insects. Seal those gaps with expanding foam. For water pipes under the sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe. The ring is just decorative and will not block airflow.
These common sense steps add up over time. Hopefully these tips will help you as they have helped us. 🙂