Saving Energy Ė Tips to Lower Your Monthly Costs Year Round
The past few years have found all of us looking at rising energy costs which seem to have been multiplied by the slow economy.† Whether you are thinking about ways to ďgo greenĒ or you simply want to lower your monthly out of pocket energy costs, weíve compiled some tips to help you out.† This is the third in a series of articles on lowering your monthly energy costs.
In our first two articles we discussed several tips to reduce your energy costs specifically during either the winter or summer months.† In this article we will discuss tips you can use year round to help lower your energy costs and save on your monthly bills.
First letís recap some of the tips we suggested using in winter:
-††††††††† Lower your thermostat.† Stay warmer by wearing more clothes, using space heaters, using electric blankets at night, etc.
-††††††††† Check for drafts entering the home through doors or windows and seal them off.
-††††††††† Reduce your outdoor poolís running time to a minimum
Next letís look at some of the tips we suggested for summer:
-††††††††† Raise your thermostat.† Stay cool by using fans, drinking plenty of water, †wearing fewer clothes, etc.
-††††††††† Pull shades to block out the sunís heat.
-††††††††† †Insure your A/C unit is running optimally
Using our summer and winter tips will help you save on energy costs year round.† Many items work to help cool and heat your home both, helping your unit work less, and use less energy.
-Changing the A/C filter regularly helps your unit run at its optimum level in both heat and cool modes.
-Space heaters and fans help create air flow within your home which in turn helps your unit not work as hard to circulate the air.
-Pulling the shades on windows can help both in winter and summer.† In summer the shades block out the sunís direct heat.†† In the winter shades help to block out drafts and block the cold temperatures on the window surfaces from entering the room.
-Increasing your attic insulation helps year round as well by retaining both the heat and cool into your home instead of letting it escape thru the ceiling.
- Decreasing the amount of time that your outdoor poolís filter system runs during the day will dramatically help to reduce your energy consumption.† Work with your pool professional to find the optimal amount of time that the system should run each day to keep the pool clean while at the same time using as little energy as possible.† You may want to consider building your own solar panel or wind turbine to power your pool pump.† There are several websites that can teach you how to do this.† See the links at the bottom of this article.
- Replacing your old windows with energy efficient models can easily pay for itself in a very short period of time.† Todayís windows with Low E film are many times over more efficient than older models.† The best advantage is that they work in both summer and winter.† In summer energy efficient windows block out the sunís direct heat as well as the ambient heat outside, all while directing the A/C unitís cool air back into the room.† In the winter they work the same by deflecting the heat in the room back into the room and by blocking out the cold air and wind.† If you havenít looked into replacing your windows and your home is more than 30 years old, you should really do so.† The amount you could save could be huge.† Not to mention that fact that your home will feel much better as well.
-Replacing your old, worn out central system will save you money year round as well.† Depending on how old your unit is, how large your home is and how well itís insulated, the savings you could see from replacing the unit could easily pay for the new unit in just a couple of years time.
-Caulking cracks around your homeís exterior will help to increase the homeís insulation factor which will obviously help year round by blocking out the cold and hot wind.
-Unplugging your unused electrical items will save energy year round.†
- Donít leave rechargeable items plugged in all the time.† Once the unit is charged, unplug it completely from the wall.†
- Donít leave your toaster plugged in.† It only takes a second to plug it in when you are ready to use it.
- Why leave your computer running all day while you are at work?† Not only turn it off, but if you have it on a surge protector, which you should, turn the switch off so that all your computer items are off including your printer, copier, modem, monitor, etc.
- Unplug your jam box.† It probably has a few lights and maybe a read out screen that stay lit even when the unit switch is off.
- Battery chargers.† Once your drill or screwdriver battery is charged in the garage, unplug it.
So, as you can see over this series of articles we have listed numerous tips that can help you save on your energy costs not just in the summer or winter, but year round as well.† Most of the items we have discussed are items that you could do yourself without having to pay anyone else and in many cases without having to spend any money at all.† †If you are the do-it-yourself (DIY) type you will find most of these tips very easy to follow and implement.†† If not, you can still accomplish them with just a little research.† There are plenty of websites on the net you can use for resources.
Another great way of reducing your energy costs is by producing your own energy through the use of either a solar panel or wind turbine.† You DIY enabled homeowners will find that building a solar panel or wind turbine is actually must easier than it may sound at first.† Several websites offer guides to building your own and take you through the steps one by one.†
The key to successfully lowering your energy cost year round is to implement as many of our tips as possible.† While implementing one or two of them will help, you will most definitely get the biggest bang for your buck by implementing as many of them as you can simultaneously.
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Then, building your own solar or wind energy producing system will take you to the next level.† In many cases people who build their own energy generators completely take themselves off the grid and never have to pay for electricity from the providers again.† Follow this link to read all of our Energy Saving Articles.