Each year, your average household can spend up to $2200 on energy costs. Our economy today is certainly challenging, and homeowners are looking for ways to stretch their monthly utility and household expenses. There are plenty of ways to come up with extra cash by making some simple, energy saving home improvements Here are 10 simple steps that your home inspector shares that can help you to start saving now.
Install a new Energy Star rated programmable thermostat. Make sure that you actually take the time to program it, most people don’t. As we discuss during the home inspection process, when programmed and used properly, a programmable thermostat can cut your energy costs by an average of $180 per year.
If your furnace is more that 15 years old, you should consider replacing it. There are many state of the art furnaces introduced in recent years that can save you hundreds of dollars in heating costs. Older furnaces are typically 65% - 72% efficient, compared to today’s models that are up to 96% efficient. Your average savings is up to $800 a year
Add some insulation to your attic. Approximately 20% of the homes built prior to 1980 are properly insulated. Adding extra insulation will keep your heating and cooling systems from having to work overtime. Having the right amount of insulation can save up to 10% on your energy costs. Average savings for adding insulation is $220 per year.
Dial back the temperature on your water heater. Lowering the temperature from 145 degrees to 120 degrees will result in savings from $36 - $61 per year.
Replace your 5 or so most used incandescent light bulbs with new compact florescent bulbs. These bulbs use less energy and can last up to 10 times longer. Motion sensors for your outside lights will help save by turning lights on only when needed. Average savings is $65 per year.
Install low flow shower heads. Replacing your shower heads with a 2.5 gallon per minute low flow model and shortening your shower time by a couple minutes can save 5 gallons of water each time someone showers. Figure in less energy to heat less water and you will have an average savings of up to $145.
Wash your clothes in cold water and save on the fuel you would need to heat that water. Make sure that you use a detergent formulated for cold water usage. Your average savings will be $24 - $40 per year.
Fix dripping faucets. You don’t want your hard earned money going down the drain. Hot water dripping at 1 drip per second can waste 1661 gallons of water a year as well as the energy needed to heat that wasted water. Average savings is $35 per year.
Keep your dryers lint trap clean. Increase the drying efficiency of your clothes dryer by cleaning the lint trap between loads. Average savings of $34 per year.
Stop using standby energy. Unplug or shut down TV’s, computers and other digital equipment that consumes standby energy when not in use. Average savings $165 per year
Realize you savings by implementing a few or all of the suggestions listed. Not only do you have the potential of saving up to $1500 a year on your energy costs, you will be saving energy and be kinder to the environment.