Homebuyers can slash their utility bills by as much as half through ensuring the homes they intend to buy are energy efficient. A good starting point is to precisely understand what you are paying for by looking over your utility bills. Determine what is costing you the most money and make changes from there. Draft a whole home-efficiency plan by assigning priority to your energy consumption and needs. Below is a compilation of ways homebuyers can reduce utility bills.
To cut heating and cooling energy costs, a smart thermostat comes in handy. A programmable thermostat does most of the smart ‘thinking’ to ensure that the amount of utility bills attributed to temperature regulation in the house is kept at a minimum. Through programmable thermostats, homebuyers can achieve optimal room temperatures at a minimal cost by setting their climate control systems. When everyone is away from home or all in bed, a smart thermostat can reduce energy consumption by turning the temperature up or down automatically. Another key advantage of smart thermometers is that they require no other manual configuration once they are programmed. Temperature alterations occur automatically.
One of the best ways to save on utility bills is to keep your cooling and heating expenses in check with adequate heat insulation. Consider adding more insulation to your attic if the joists are visible. Homes that are more than a decade old are prone to a lack of adequate insulation. New homes are often properly insulated. The attic is one of the biggest heat-loss culprits because hot air rises. Under-insulated and older homes could immensely benefit from a new layer of insulation. The amount of money you spend on adding insulation depends on the kind of insulation you choose.
Heat loss and heat gain through windows make up about a third of the energy used in residential heating and cooling. Depending on the climate they anticipate to live in, homebuyers should plan and select the most energy-efficient windows they can afford. When selecting houses to buy, always check for homes with pre-installed energy-efficient windows. If you contemplate upgrading the existing windows for energy savings, look for the ENERGY STAR label on new windows and an energy-performance label for ratings. There are several benefits of these windows in addition to energy savings. These benefits include reduced noise penetration, lower maintenance needs, and better ultraviolet protection.
Some of the biggest energy hogs that you should consider replacing are the washer, refrigerator, and dryer. With energy efficiency in mind, home appliances have continuously evolved into more convenient machines. You can save as much as $300 in the next four years by replacing that aging refrigerator for the modern, energy-efficient model. A better way is to go for a smaller unit to save even more on energy consumption.
Recent technological advancement has seen the upfront cost of solar panel installation significantly go down. Shifting from utility companies to solar energy can help cut electricity costs significantly. With solar panels, you can save money by using stored solar power to offset peak energy rates . Apart from the initial costs of installation, solar energy is free, and you only have to shift to the regular utility company’s electricity when the sun is not out, in thunderstorms or at night. Other great advantages of solar panels are that they require little or no maintenance. This will enable you to eliminate or reduce the need for costly and inconvenient utility-company maintenance. Solar energy also guarantees steady energy costs, unlike regular electricity, which is subject to fluctuating prices.
To many folks, this kind of showerheads may not sound that enticing. To get rid of the day’s worries, it is almost everyone’s wish to have that long hot shower with great water pressure. But, this comes at a somewhat hefty cost. Many homes are equipped with showerheads that allow 3 to 5 gallons of water flow per minute. In comparison, the low-flow showerhead allows anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 gallons in a minute. In a typical family of four, replacing showerheads can result in saving more than $100 annually.
Ceiling fans are not capable of cooling the air, but, when used in concert with an AC unit, they can help you stay comfortable and reduce about 4 degrees on your thermostat. This should translate to better energy consumption by the AC system and savings on utility bills. Ceiling fans can also be utilized in the cold season to save on heating consumption. By reversing the spin direction of the fan, you can push down warm air. That helps in attaining cozier conditions without having to crank up the heat.
Homebuyers looking to save on utility bills should consider opting for xeriscaping as an alternative to lawns. Whether buying a xeriscape home or ditching the grass lawn for a xeriscape, the benefits are profound. That lovely, lush green lawn comes at a hefty additional cost. Considering the money that goes into watering, fertilizing, and maintaining a lawn, it is worthwhile to replace some or all of the grass with native plants. Drought-resistant native plants are much pocket-friendlier to maintain in the summer.
Home automation is one of the surefire ways to cut on utility bills. Through using smart switches, you can have electrical appliances come on only when they are needed. This helps to save on the phantom costs that occur when a significant portion of electricity consumption by appliances happens when they are not in use. Motion-detector switches on faucets and sockets can help reduce energy and water consumption.
To ensure that you are not missing out on any energy-saving opportunities, homebuyers should enlist the services of a certified efficiency inspector prior to closing on a house. You can also call in a qualified home-improvement company to help you modify your new home with energy-efficient solutions that will help to keep your utility bills as low as possible.