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FIVE LOW-COST WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR ENERGY BILL THIS MONTH
It’s hot outside and chances are your energy bill is eating up a big chunk of your monthly budget. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right away to help.
1. Big or Small: Weatherize Your Home
Make sure your doors, windows and walls are all properly sealed to prevent cold air from escaping and to keep warm air, pollen, and bugs from entering.
When it comes to windows (common culprits for air leaks), the simple tube and gun method is all it takes to minimize leaks.
Weather stripping exterior doors is also important. Air escaping or entering your home puts a strain on your HVAC system and causes it to work harder.
2. Program your Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
If your thermostat is programmable, instructions are likely printed inside the cover. If not, give the manufacturer’s website a try.
If you’re ready for an upgrade, try Ecobee’s smarter Wi-Fi thermostat, which gives you control from your smartphone, watch or tablet. Plus, it saves homeowners an average of 23% annually on heating and cooling costs.
3. Wash Clothes and Dishes Outside of Peak Hours
During the summer months, utilities observe what are known as “peak hours” (typically 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) when the price of electricity per kilowatt can cost more than double the normal rate. Before or after peak hours is the perfect time to tackle dirty clothes and dishes.
4. Install a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool, both indoors and outdoors. While the fan may not lower the actual room temperature, it can make the room feel up to six degrees cooler.
5. Keep Your Windows Closed and Covered
When you’re away from home, make sure to pull the shades and close the curtains on windows, especially those that receive direct sunlight. Keeping sunlight out is an easy way to reduce room temperature.
Another tip: if you’re buying doors, windows, or replacing old appliances with ENERGY STAR certified-appliances, remember that many local utilities offer rebates for energy-efficient improvements to your home.
Looking for more ways to save? It might be time for a home energy assessment. Assessments are usually offered at no-cost through your local utility provider, who will send a professional to walk through your home and give you a list of recommended improvements. If you don’t have time for a visit, give our online Home Energy assessment a try.