Energy Star spokespersons (Skowronski, 2010) claim the cost of energy bills do vary depending on different factors, but the average household will spend about $2,200 a year on energy costs. While that may seem high for some and low to others, there is no denying that energy costs can be cut down if the right steps are implemented.
By following a few suggestions homeowners can reduce their energy bills, and most can save an average of $700 a year.
According to data compiled by Energy star, a home’s heating and cooling system account for almost 50% of a house’s energy bill. Most people cannot afford to completely redo or replace their heating and cooling units; however, they can follow the following tips to reducing their energy bills:
- Almost $180 a year can be saved by installing a digital programmable thermostat. These thermostats allow residents within a home to program temperature settings for different times during the period of a day. Many people choose to lower the temperature of a home during day during the winter when residents are not home, and choose to raise the temperature of a home during the day during the summer when residents are not home.
- Changing air filters regularly lessens the amount a HVAC unit has to work. When HVAC units have to work hard, they waste energy. Air filters should always be changed every month, no less than once every three months.
- By sealing heating and cooling ducts a person can reduce their energy bill because doing so improves the efficiency of a HVAC unit up to 20%.
- Water heating systems account for about 14% of energy bills. To help reduce water heating bills a person can lower their standby losses, which includes lowering the amount of hot water used in a household, as well as reducing the amount of heat that escapes a water heater.
- Many households endure wasted money on heating their water because they have their water heat set to high, at about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Water heater’s settings should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lights account for about 12% of energy bills. However, lighting expenses are one of the easiest energy expenses to lower. Households can save over $70 a year by replacing at least 5 standard light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs.
- 13% of energy bills come from energy used by appliances. Even though this may seem like a relatively low percentage it is still wise to upgrade to energy efficient appliances. If a household does not have energy efficient appliances, the large appliances should be the ones that are focused on when it comes to saving energy; these include refrigerators, washers and dryers. It is always important that appliances filters are cleaned, as this helps them use less energy. It is also wise to wash with cold clothes with cold water. Keeping filters clean and washing with cold water can save $30 to $40 a year on an energy bill.
- TVs, DVD players, and other electronics account for only a small portion of energy bills, but they do use energy whether they are turned on or not. As long as they are plugged into a wall they consume energy. A simply way to save energy on these electronic devices is to fully turn them off after using and unplug them from the wall.
There are many suggestions that can be followed to help lower one’s energy bill. While the savings sometimes seem small they do add up. Most importantly, when people save energy they are helping save the earth.
Skowronski, J. (2010, December 17). Energy wasters in your home. Retrieved from http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/111560/energy-wasters-in-your-home