11 Easy Tips to Lower Monthly Energy Bills
Being an energy-smart consumer means getting the most from the energy you use:
- Lower your thermostat in winter and bump it up in summer before you go to sleep and before you head out for the day. Even easier, install a programmable thermostat that does it automatically.
- Clean or replace filters for forced-air furnaces, heat pumps or air conditioners.
- Vacuum air vents, baseboard heaters and radiators regularly — dust reduces heating efficiency — and move furniture, carpet and curtains that restrict their operation.
- Use drapes and shades to help prevent heat gain on sunny summer days and heat loss on chilly winter nights. Shade room air conditioners to save them unnecessary extra work.
- Seal air leaks around windows, doors and places where pipes and wiring come through walls. Check existing caulking and weatherstripping for gaps or cracks.
- Schedule an annual tune-up for heat pumps, furnaces, boilers and central air conditioners. Expect to pay between $50 and $200. Your utility company may offer these tune-ups.
- Check ducts for holes and gaps where sections have separated and air may be leaking out. Some leaks you can seal yourself with mastic sealant or metal tape (don’t use duct tape). Hiring a professional to repair leaky ducts can be a good investment.
- Close fireplace dampers when you don’t have a fire going, and seal flues in fireplaces you don’t use.
- If your home has a crawl space under it, open your foundation vents in spring and close them in winter.
- Prune shrubs that may block airflow to your air conditioner or heat pump. Make sure your home is insulated to DOE recommended levels, which you can find at energysavers.gov….
- Use ceiling fans to cool in summer and circulate heat in winter. Close the doors to rooms you don’t use regularly.