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Saving Money on Energy Bills

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We’ve all seen our energy bills going up, especially in the last couple of years. Between conflicts in the Middle East, questions about the future supply of oil and gas from Russia, and environmental restrictions placed upon energy producers, the cost of energy is likely to continue to rise. Thankfully, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the amount of energy you consume in your home so you don’t have to take out a second mortgage or get payday loans just to keep the lights on and the temperature tolerable. Here are a few to get you started. Quit heating the neighborhood Begin by making sure that you aren’t losing most of the heat you pay for to draughts. The cost of sealing your home could be offset by reductions in your bills in as little as a few months. Start small, but start somewhere. For example:

  • Make certain that doors and windows seal effectively. Install weather stripping, caulk gaps around frames, and consider replacing old, single-pane windows with energy-efficient ones.
  • Install inexpensive foam seals at all exterior outlets and switches. Up to 20% of heat is lost through these small, frequently overlooked items.
  • Seal off the fireplace. That cheery fire might be nice and toasty when you stand close by, but most fireplaces suck out much more heat than they produce.
  • Install insulating drapes at all your windows, and keep them closed when you don’t need the outside light.

Make your hot water heater more efficient A lot of the energy used to heat your water is lost due to radiant heat coming off the boiler. Wrap it in one of those thermal blankets designed specifically for the purpose. You should also set the water temperature lower. You want the water to be hot enough to clean your dishes and give you a comfortable shower. Keeping the setting hot enough to make tea will cost you many additional pounds each month. If you can afford it, consider replacing your old water heater with one of the new, energy-efficient models. Don’t overwork your furnace Naturally, the harder your furnace works, the more you’re going to pay each month.

  • For every degree you lower your thermostat setting, you will reduce your heating bill by several (or more than several) pounds.
  • Heat only the rooms you occupy. It makes no sense to pay to keep that extra bedroom warm all the time, and even the bedrooms you use don’t need to remain toasty when you’re not in them.
  • Have your ducts professionally cleaned. Aside from the increase in efficiency clean ductwork provides, your family will be healthier for not breathing in all the dust and contaminants that accumulate in the ducts.

Dress for the season Toss on an extra sweater while you’re home. As much as you might be longing for spring, putting on your shorts and t-shirt and keeping the house at summer temperatures translates into one heck of an expensive fantasy. Replace electrical appliances with modern, energy efficient ones There have been great leaps in the efficiency of all our electrical appliances, from the smallest on up. When it’s time to replace, choose wisely.

  • Furnaces – Running modern furnaces can cost about half what their older counterparts cost. An efficient furnace is a significant investment, but one that will pay for itself over the long term.
  • Dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers – Again, newer, energy-efficient units will save a considerable amount on your monthly bills, and will generally pay for themselves within a few years.

Install ceiling fans They circulate the air, spreading heat in winter and cool in summer, making the room more comfortable without having to adjust the temperature. Even if you have to hire a professional to install the fans (they’re really quite easy to install), they will pay for themselves in a matter of months. These are just a few of the ways that you can save money on your energy bills. While some of them do involve a significant investment, the payoff can come in a matter of months, and from that point forward, the savings will be considerable.