When summer utility bills start soaring, many homeowners will wonder how to cut expenses.
There are ways to shave money off of your monthly utility bill and you do not have to sweat it out and be miserable in the heat. The following article provides room-by-room tips to help you save money and go “green” at the same time.
Outside the home, a good way to reduce energy costs is to plant shrubbery and trees so the exterior of the house is shaded. On the sunnier side of your home, plant some tall, full shade trees and for a quick fix, having blinds or shades is another good way of keeping the home cooler in the summer sun. Having trees planted in specific spots around the property provides shade, wind barrier and protects from the elements of winter, as well as summer.
Make sure your air conditioner and furnace filter are changed regularly, which will ensure it is functioning effectively and will help avoid any serious problems down the road. If you need a new air conditioner unit, shop around for an energy efficient model and you may qualify for a tax credit. Look for a unit with an energy ratio of 16 to 21, which is the highest and check into a geothermal heating and cooling system which uses a stable, ambient heat.
A homeowner should make sure the house is leak-free and fill any cracks or hole in the foundation and caulk around exterior and interior doors and windows. Something else to be considered is to find a local Energy Star auditor and have them come into the home to do a check for areas where energy maybe escaping. The auditor can do a blower door test to check for low air pressure and take a picture of the home with a geothermal camera to check for areas that need better insulation and sealing.
In the living room, it is a good idea to shut down the entertainment center via unplugging it from the wall or using a power strip, which cuts down on power loss when things are not in use. For people considering a new television set, there are some great energy efficient models available on the market so it pays to shop around and find one which uses less energy than an older model. On average, you can save approximately $50-150 per year when you shut things down that are not in use, so it saves to turn off appliances like stereos, televisions, computers and coffee pots.
When baking cookies or a cake in the summertime, it will force your air conditioner unit into overdrive. However, as a result, you can enjoy a variety of foods which are grilled outdoors and you could even use a toaster oven to cook small meals. You can even bake cookies in your car at temperatures of 95°F, for 2 ½ hours, check the internet for recipes and more instructions.
Perhaps the room we spend the most time in is the bedroom, in this room we sleep, read and relax so it is important when greening the home to pay special attention to our personal sanctuary. Water bed owners should consider changing to a well insulated soft side water bed or upgrading their existing water bed heater to a solid state energy efficient model. Installing room darkening shades and using plants in the room will help keep out the heat and keep the room air clean and using an overhead fan will help circulate air around the room and make it more comfortable. It is also a good idea to close doors to rooms that are not in use and it will also help to lessen the load on your air conditioner unit.
By following the above mentioned tips and ideas, it is possible to save a little or a lot on your monthly utility bills. Through incorporating some “green” tips into your routine and changing a few things around your home, you can do your part to protect the environment and save money at the same time.