Tag Archives: energy

Electric Bill

7 DIY Energy Saving Tips

So much of our monthly income ends up going straight out to our utility companies.  Water, sewer and my least favorites, power and gas.  If you are looking for more ways to change your lifestyle and increase your energy efficiency (and of course, save money) you may be looking for some alterations you can make in your home. There are many do-it-yourself home projects that you can implement quickly and inexpensively to help conserve energy in your home. Below are 7 DIY projects, and changes you can make to your home to help conserve energy.

Upgrade To Energy Efficient Products
As more attention is drawn to reducing energy consumption, many electronics and appliance brands are producing energy efficient models of their products. This could be anything from your dishwasher, washer and dryer, computer, light bulbs, ceiling fans, and windows. While it may not be in your budget to replace all of these items at once, prioritize which ones you can upgrade in a manner that best fits your budget. When purchasing anything that draws energy, remember to inquire about energy efficient alternatives.
Home with Solar Pannels

Utilize Solar Power
Installing solar panels to provide electricity to your home is one way to significantly reduce your energy consumption. Depending on the type and size of solar panels you install, this is a project that can cost up to $15,000 to complete. With such a high price tag, this is not an investment that fits into everyone’s budget. For those looking for ways to use solar power without installing costly solar panels, look for other solar alternatives. This could be anything from solar powered outdoor lights, solar powered phone chargers, or solar powered electronic chargers.

Seal Windows And Doors
Regardless of the time of year or climate you live in, outdoor air can sneak in to even the tiniest of cracks and crevices in your windows and doors. This requires you to use both your heat and air-conditioning with greater frequency, which wastes energy. By investing a few dollars into sealing cracks and crevices, replacing old doorjambs, and installing weather stripping, you can keep your heating and cooling bills where they belong. For particularly drafty windows and doors, you can add curtains, install window insulation kits, or replace them altogether.

Insulate Your Home
There are many areas of your home in which you can add insulation to prevent heat from escaping. This could be anything from your basement, attic, hot water heater, or hot water pipes. For areas of your home that have been previously insulated, get into the habit of checking the insulation for damage or gaps every few years. When buying insulation, be sure to purchase the appropriate kind for the specific area of your home you are insulating. The average hot water pipe insulation for a DIY project costs approximately $20 to complete.

Reduce Vampire Energy Sources
The average American household spends at least $100 a year on vampire energy sources. Vampire energy sources are plugged in electronic devices and appliances that draw energy even when they are not currently turned on. This includes items such as your coffee pot, microwave, television, computer, and electronic chargers. To reduce your vampire energy consumption, get into the habit of unplugging things when they are not in use. For hard-to-reach vampire energy sources, purchase smart energy strips that will reduce or eliminate vampire energy from the items plugged into them.

Program Your Thermostat
By investing in a programmable thermostat, or utilizing the programmable features on your thermostat, you can avoid the yo-yo of turning your heat up and down and up again on a whim. You can also program your thermostat so that you are not excessively heating or cooling your home when it’s unnecessary. For example, when you are at work, you may drop the temperature in your home a few degrees, and then turn it back up when you return home.

Maintain Your Heating And Cooling Sources
Even if you have not upgraded to energy efficient heating and cooling sources, your appliances will consume less energy when they are properly maintained. Change the filters on your HVAC system, get a tune-up on your hot water heater, and clean the coils on your refrigerator on a regular basis.

This article was written by Jared Miret, father and home handyman.  He was tired of wasting money too, and made this changes to save some dough.  He also checked out taraenergy.com for lower rates on the monthly electricity bill.

Quick Tips for Saving Energy in Your Home This Summer

Smart Home
Although it is frequently overshadowed by the need to keep a house warm in the winter, keeping a home cool and comfortable during the summer can create a strain on a family’s energy bills. This is especially true with families in warmer parts of the country that all but rely on air conditioning to stay cool. Fortunately, there are ways of saving money on your energy bill in the summer without resigning yourself to living in an unbearably warm house.

Keep Your Thermostat Turned Up
As much as you will want to, it’s not always wise to run your air conditioner all the time. Keep your thermostat at around 78 degrees and use fans to circulate cool air. During the summer, keeping the thermostat set at a high, yet comfortable level will decrease cooling costs.

Keep Your Shades Closed
Although it’s not as effective as exterior shading, shades and drapes on the window can go a long way in keeping a home cool. Your home’s windows are some of its largest sources of heat gain, so it’s important to keep them shaded as much as possible.

Open Your Windows When It’s Cool Outside
Instead of running an air conditioner, try opening your windows when it is cooler outside. This will help ventilate your home, especially at night or early in the morning. In addition, try waiting until turning on your air conditioner is needed, usually during early to late-afternoons.

Use Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are capable of circulating enough air to cool a space by over four degrees, and they use about as much energy as a 100-watt light bulb. Using circulating floor fans in individual rooms is another simple way to keep your house cool, and save energy at the same time. Once again, this should eliminate the need to run your air conditioner non-stop.

Turn Off Your Lights
When you leave a room, make sure you turn off the lights. If you’re in a room with large windows and it isn’t too hot outside, don’t be afraid to open the shades in the middle of the day to let some sunlight inside. Don’t run appliances longer than you need to. Unplug them if you won’t be using them soon.

Use Your Appliances Efficiently
This means not doing entire loads of laundry, keeping your dryer’s lint trap clear and run all appliances during off-peak hours such as after the sun has gone down. If you have to buy new appliances, look for Energy Saver products. These can lower your energy bill by as much as 30 percent, and will save you money in the long run.

Replace Air Conditioner Filters Monthly
Dirty filters can block the airflow in your air conditioning system, causing it to work harder and use more energy. Replacing your filters every month can save you up to five percent on cooling costs.

Keep Outdoor Air Conditioning Units Free of Debris

Most central air conditioning systems run off of a large outdoor unit. This should be kept free of debris and weeds to work efficiently. Leaves, branches, and invasive plants should be removed to keep the unit functioning correctly.

Home with Solar Pannels

Hire Someone to Perform Maintenance on Your Air Conditioner
An air conditioner will last for years if it is properly maintained, but it will also work inefficiently and waste a lot of energy if it goes too long without a tune-up. Make sure you have it repaired and maintained before every summer.

Seal Leaky Windows and Doors
Cool air can easily escape a leaky window or door, and this can be a big problem when cooling your house. Check to make sure there isn’t a draft coming from a closed window. If you do notice a draft, seal it with caulk or weather stripping. These are available in kits at most hardware stores and are a relatively inexpensive fix to a pesky problem.

 

This article was written by Wesley Francis. Wesley is a home contractor, father of three, and DIY enthusiast. For further energy conservation strategies, he recommends searching for home renovation professionals in your area, like the team at Remedy Roofing, who always provide eco-friendly solutions. There are plenty of energy-saving home projects out there, go find them!