For many people, utility bills are typically one of their most costly expenses each month. Did you know that the average American household can rack up nearly $2,000 in energy bills annually? That’s a pretty big chunk of change!
With energy costs rising across the board–gas, oil, and electricity are a pricy (yet necessary) commodity for your home. We’re here to help you reduce your energy consumption without sacrificing the comfort of your family.
Here are a few quick, do-it-yourself projects that can save you a few bucks.
1. Install Storm Windows with Low Emissivity Coating
You’d be surprised that installing storm windows is a relatively easy task that’s only a fraction of the cost of installing replacement windows. In addition to that, they can lower your energy bill just as much as replacing your windows entirely.
They working by reflecting infrared heat back in to your home with a thin layer of metal. Pretty cool, huh?
Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you can choose from a variety of storm windows (both interior and exterior.) They cost about $60-$200 per window, but can save you 12%-33% on your energy bill each year after they’re installed. Cha-ching (5)!
2. Air Seal Your Home with Caulk
Whether you have air leaks that are letting in cool air during the winter, or warm air during the summer, they’re costing you money! These leaks occur when outdoor air seeps through cracks and openings into your home.
Sealing up these openings is one of the quickest and easiest energy saving projects. You’ll need to test your home for air tightness, inspect dirty spots in your insulation for leaks, and weather strip doors and windows (2).
You can purchase a caulk gun (which typically ranges from $5-$20) and this will help you easily apply the material to large openings. The caulk itself an be purchased for roughly $2, and each tube will cover 2 windows or doors. Cheap, quick, and easy (4)!
3. Lower the Temp of Your Water Heater
You might typically take caution in your electric or heating/cooling usage when you’re trying to save, but do you ever consider the effects of your heated water usage? It might come as a surprise to you that water heating can make up roughly 12% of a home’s utility expenses, which is the largest chunk behind heating and cooling (3).
You could have the temperature of your water heater set too high, and it could be costing you more than you think.
Although most homes typically only need the water heater’s temperature to be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, some manufacturers set it at 140 degrees. A setting this high can actually give way to a safety hazard: scalding. Being burned by water that’s too hot can be quite dangerous, depending on the location and severity of the burn (1, 2).
Setting the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees can do more than save you a few bucks—it can also deter quick mineral buildup and slow the corrosion of your heater and pipes.
4. Add an Attic Stair Cover Box
One of the biggest air leak culprits is your attic! The opening between your attic and attic stairs can be well insulated with an attic cover box. This will cover and seal that opening, and can be easily removed when you need to go into your attic.
You can either build your own box, or buy a pre-built box which typically costs $50-$150 (6).
We’ll Help You Save
Another great way to save? Scheduling a home energy audit.
Energy audits are designed to provide an overview of how your home uses energy. They look at how you can reduce that consumption without incurring costs—or, if you do have costs up front, you’re at least able to get that money back in the short- or long-run.
Between heating during the winter to cooling in the summer, your home (or your building) can use up quite a bit of energy! So, when you decide it’s time to take action and reduce your energy bills, you need to know what changes are easiest to make for the biggest possible impact on your bills.
During our energy audit, we determine exactly where your home/building needs upgrades, and we’ll recommend changes that will increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Call Greater Comfort Today
If you are ready to discuss your heating and cooling needs, now is the time to call. Contact the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure that your HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible this winter: 859-491-4915.