5 Energy Saving Tips for Your Home!
If you were to ask most people you talked to if they would like to save money on their electric bill, they would say yes. Electricity is one of those life necessities that you can't really live without and given the opportunity to lower that cost, most people would take advantage.
For most, it doesn't take a major overhaul on their home to start saving money on their electric bill. Just by making some quick and simple changes, you can start to save energy and see a difference on your monthly bill. Here are 5 easy ways you can start saving immediately:
1. Change your light bulbs to LED or energy saving bulbs. (Some electricity providers even offer rebate programs to help off-set the cost of the bulbs, all you have to do is call or check their website.)
2. Lower the thermostat on your water heater(s) to 120° F
3. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when he equipment is not in use. TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
4. Just by using the auto sleep function on your computer, you could save up to $30 a year on your electricity bills!
5. Make sure all of your doors and windows are actually closed shut and consider air sealing your home by weather-stripping your windows and sealing air leaks with caulk.
There are a few more ways that you can save on your monthly electric bill. You can install a programmable thermostat to manage your heating and cooling systems more efficiently. Just turning your thermostat back from its normal setting by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs.
Another great way to save on energy, is to have an energy audit performed of your home and ensure you have the recommended amounts of attic insulation. The Department of Energy has R Value recommendations for various zones of the county (see map below). In the north Texas area, it is recommended that homes have an R value of R30 to R60. It is estimated that roughly two thirds of homes in the U.S. are not properly insulated. Do you have any areas or rooms in your home that are not comfortable or you have a hard time keeping cool in the summer or warm in the winter? If so, you should consider having a Home Energy Audit conducted on your home to determine the cause of the discomfort and recommended solution. Outback Roofing is a certified Top of the Roof Preferred Contractor with Owens Corning and is authorized to install Owens Corning Atticat Insulation products. Call us today at 972-930-9990 to schedule your complimentary audit and inspection!
In addition to saving on your monthly electric bill, you may also be eligible to take advantage of a Federal Tax Credit that can save you up to 10% of the cost of materials for qualifying insulation projects throughout 2013 (before 1/1/2014), up to a maximum of $500. See www.irs.gov or talk to your tax specialist to determine eligibility.
Recommended insulation levels for retrofitting existing wood-framed buildings
For more information on the tax credit or additional ways to save energy, go to www.EnergyStar.gov. For information on how to claim the tax credit, go to www.irs.gov. Circumstances vary widely, so homeowners should consult with their tax advisor for further guidance.
- Jennifer Crutcher
Jennifer is a licensed insurance adjuster in the state of Texas, a Haag Engineering Certified Residential Roof Inspector and is passionate about consumer protection and education. She works at Outback Roofing, a family owned and locally operated company, where she is responsible for daily office operations. Jennifer resides with her family and two German shepherds in the Dallas area. A little known fact is that she secretly aspires to be an ice dancer!