Winter’s chill brings with it higher energy bills for most Americans. With most of our finances already stretched paper-thin, paying a large electric bill is unbearable. Thankfully, there are some tricks the average homeowner can make use of to ensure their home is operating as efficiently as possible in order to make cost of heating their home more manageable.
Here are four nifty tricks that will help you save money and lower your energy costs this winter…
Replace outdated appliances
Old appliances do more than just date a house. They also demand energy in large quantities to do their job. New energy-efficient appliances use far less energy, so replacing appliances will naturally save you money in the long run. In some cases, thanks to the extension of the federal tax credits for energy-efficient appliances, homeowners can save in the short-term as well.
Unfortunately, not all household appliances qualify for federal tax credits. However, homeowner’s can receive various tax breaks when they purchase appliances with an Energy Star logo. In addition, many states also offer financial rewards in the form of tax deductions, rebates or tax credits for those that choose to buy energy-efficient appliances. Great examples of the types of appliances that qualify include instant water heaters, dishwashers, washing and dryers, refrigerators, and ovens.
Kill the vampires
I’m not talking about the vampires that roam the nights of fantasy-romance novels thirsty for blood. I’m talking about the energy vampire that sucks energy from unused appliances that are left plugged in. Since most people are completely unaware of how much energy these devices consume they see no need to unplug these dormant appliances. However, homeowners need to remember that they could get up to a month’s worth of free electricity each year if they eliminated this unwanted drain on their pocket books.
Invest in reusable AC and furnace filters
Neglecting to change the filter in a HVAC system will cause your system to run less efficiently which in turn causes the system to have to work harder to heat or cool a house; and therefore resulting in higher electric bills. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners neglect this simple task until the system is already overworked. Investing in reusable filters can be a wise decision since replacing filters can become tiresome. At a cost of around $30, a permanent filter will ultimately pay for itself in as little as 15 months.
Check your home for air leaks
Another often overlooked tip to make your home more energy friendly is to check around doors and windows for air leaks. If you seal up cracks, you will prevent the cold air from invading your warm house so that your heater won’t have to work harder to compensate.
Tina Jacobs is a registered nurse, DIY maven who has written and blogged for DIY Mother as well as numerous print and online publications ranging in topics from education to health and from home renovations to interior decorating.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com