January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. It’s not exactly a Federal Holiday, but you can celebrate wisely with these helpful tips to cut your energy costs not just for today, but all year long.
Get a Heating and Cooling System Tune-up
Scheduling an appointment to get your heating and cooling system tuned up is a great way to cut your energy costs. Studies show that effective HVAC preventative maintenance can cut energy costs by 5 to 40 percent depending on the system and equipment in your home. Regular maintenance can also extend the life of the equipment and improve its ability to keep your home comfortable throughout the year.
Unplug Devices You Are Not Using
Vampire power, also known as standby power, is the electric power consumed by many consumer electronic devices when they are switched off but still plugged in. That wasted electricity is being sucked up when not in use and costing you a lot of money. Things like TVs, DVD players, radios, computers and printers, microwaves, coffeemakers, and anything else you can think of that plugs in. According to a study by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the price of vampire power is 10% of your monthly energy bill. Unplug stuff you aren’t using. Take a bite out of your electric bill and unplug devices when not in use.
Switch To LED Lighting
Another great way to cut your energy costs is to switch to LED lighting. LED lights are very energy efficient. They use just 10 percent of the energy of incandescent lights and less than half the energy of compact fluorescent bulbs. An LED that uses 6 watts of electricity produces the same amount of light as a 14-watt CFL bulb or a 60-watt incandescent bulb. Although LED lights cost a little more than incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs, the cost is quickly recouped over time in electricity costs. And don’t forget to turn off the lights when you’re not using them.
Replace Your Air Filter Regularly
Replacing your air filter on a regular basis can help keep your energy costs down. When your dirty clogged up air filter is working harder, more energy is being used, which can cause your bill to skyrocket. When you consistently change your air filter, you can save from 5 to 15 percent on your utility bill. Check your air filter monthly and change it every three months. Regularly replacing your air filter is an easy, inexpensive way to save money, extend the life of your HVAC system and improve indoor air quality.
Switch to Low Flow Shower Heads
Low flow shower heads can decrease water consumption by 40% or more. You’ll save water and cut down on your monthly water bill. Showers also take energy to heat the water, which means cutting down on water usage also cuts down on energy usage. Taking shorter showers helps a lot too.
Keep The Fridge and Freezer Full
Did you know keeping the fridge and freezer full can also save you money? Stuff it full of Klondike Bars, frozen taquitos, and corn dogs and save…or broccoli for the health conscious consumer. Food acts as insulation and lessens the amount of time that the fridge has to run to stay cool.
And don’t forget the plumbing…
Other ways to cut your energy costs: Fix any leaks in your plumbing system including the toilet.
Wasting water not only raises your water bill but the energy used to pump the water into your home and then, of course, to heat it, is a major source of energy use. Get an energy-efficient shower-head (like mentioned above) and turn your water off when you’re brushing your teeth. Check for any leaky faucets or a toilet cistern that fails to shut off.
And the other places in the house to cut costs…
- Lower your water heaters thermostat.
- Weatherproof your home.
- Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when fully loaded.
These are just a few ways you can celebrate National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. When you add them all up you’ll not only save energy, you’ll also save a lot of money.