Paying a high energy bill every month is like throwing your money away. Don't do it!
Follow this advice to save money at your home...
Change your light bulbs
Changing out your bulbs is like minting money. If you take a single 40-watt incandescent traditional bulb and replace it with a comparable LED bulb, you will save $4.10 annually (based on three hours of daily use.) It's easy to find an LED for around that price, so payback time is just one year. After that, it's all profit back in your pocket! Play around with Cree's savings calculator to customize a scenario for your home.
Use a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats can reduce heating and cooling costs in your home by 25% or 30%. The Nest thermostat is one of the most popular ones.
How would you like to install solar panels at your home for as little as $4,000? It's now possible thanks to a new development. There's now a $4,000 do-it-yourself kit called the Solar Pod for sale in certain hardware stores like Menards and Northern Tool. It won't run your whole house, but it will run a number of key electronics and appliances, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. And best of all, you can add to your array by purchasing additional kits over time to power more and more of your home.
Get a net-zero energy home
Who wants to pay a utility bill? Those bills can be a thing of the past if you do it right upfront when a home is built. A variety of builders including Deltec have net-zero energy homes -- defined as homes that produce as much energy as they consume -- for price points starting at just $75,000.
Get rid of your second fridge
Nearly 1 in 3 of us have a second refrigerator in our homes, according to The Washington Post. When we buy a new fridge, we often take the old one and put it in the garage or the basement instead of ditching the thing. A lot of us think, "Hey, now we can buy more frozen foods when on sale." But the reality is older fridges consume massive amounts of electricity. The cost of running a new fridge is next to nothing; older ones, though, can be hundreds of bucks a year to run. So that money you think you're saving buying food on sale, you're actually spending on your electric bill!
Use the microwave instead of the oven
Opt for the microwave when you just want to reheat something small like a soup or piece of pizza. You'll save up to 80% of the energy you would use if you went with the oven method, according to the federal government’s Energy Star program.
Join the small house movement
There's nothing like reducing your square footage to reduce what you pay in electric and gas! The average size of a home in 2013 was 2,598 square feet. Imagine going down to between 100 and 400 square feet in a tiny home. You would cut your heating and energy bill by around 90%!
Don't forget about your lawn equipment!
Using non-motorized equipment like a reel-push mower if you have a small enough lawn. You'll never have to buy gas for your mower again and you'll cut down on emissions!
Additional quick tips to save money on energy:
- Seal drafts around doors and windows using weather stripping or caulking.
- Make sure your attic is well insulated.
- Get a water heater blanket if your unit is over 5 years old.
- Use natural sunlight for heating when available.
- Make sure your vents are not blocked by furniture.
- Try zoned heating and cooling. Close off rooms and vents in rooms that are not in use.
- Close off your fireplace and the flue on your chimney.
- Consider warming your bed with an electric blanket on chilly nights.