As Ben Franklin once said, a penny saved is a penny earned. To save money on your heating and cooling costs, here are five ways to make your home more energy efficient and earth friendly.
1) In the summer months, you need to cool your home, but if you are using an out of date, inefficient air conditioning system your energy bills are probably quite high. If your AC unit is more than twelve years old, you need to upgrade. Look for a unit with a seasonal efficiency rating, also known as a SEER, of at least 14.5. An air conditioning unit with a 14.5 SEER rating will cost you around two thousand dollars.
2) When you heat your home, you need to make sure that the heat stays in your residence. Your attic needs to be properly insulated. A well insulated attic will help reduce summer cooling costs as well. You can get about fifty square feet of fiberglass insulation for around fifty dollars. The total cost of the project will depend on the size of your attic space. For smaller areas where air is escaping, you can use cans of pressurized foam. These cans are very affordable and can be found at hardware stores dollars.
3) Traditional water heaters are money guzzlers. They spend all day heating water. A unit that only heats water when you need it is cheaper to operate. Look for a tankless water heater. These can cost anywhere between two hundred and one thousand dollars. A cheaper option is purchasing a timer for your hot water heater. This will limit the hours that it operates. After all, you probably never take a hot shower in the middle of the night. A timer is a very inexpensive way to save energy as they only cost around thirty dollars.
4) Maintaining your dryer vent is also a good way to cut energy expenses. Your dryer’s vent can easily become clogged with built up lint and dust. A dryer with a clogged vent does not dry as efficiently. A dryer with a dirty, clogged vent uses up to two or three times the amount of energy that a properly maintained dryer would use. Additionally, a clogged dryer vent can cause a devastating and dangerous house fire. There are many professional services that will clean out your vents for around a hundred dollars. Dryer vent cleaning will save you money on drying and keep your home safe.
5) How efficient are your windows. The amount of energy lost can be substantial. Think of it as how much harder your fridge would work with the door slightly open.Check to make sure your windows are not letting out air. If they are and you upgrade to better windows, you could save as much 30% annually on your heating and Cooling bill. Expect to pay around one $150-$200 for each window, plus installation.
Occasionally, the government offers tax rebates on some of these energy efficient home improvements. Before you install any green appliances or home fixtures, do some research to see if you qualify for any of these tax rebates. Even if you do not qualify for a tax rebate, making your home more energy efficient will still save you money. In addition, you will be making your home more earth friendly.