I hate this winter!!! It is not even mid February and already I am feeling like I need a long week someplace where it is warm! This morning it was a balmy 18 degrees outside and it felt like I could go outside with my jacket unzipped. However, reality hit me in the face when I got my utility bill last week. I have 2 choices. I can either go onto budget billing where the bill is the same each month or I can become a control freak and try to do some things that will reduce the amount of energy I am using. Since I am more of a control freak, here are some things that I am going to try to lower the amount of energy I am using:
1. Caulk and seal air leaks. Knock yourself out and seal any air penetrating into your home whether it is from plumbing lines, electric wires, windows, crawlspaces or attics. There is an estimated savings of up to $220 per year if you do a good job with this.
2. Hire a HVAC contractor to take a look at all of your ductwork. Resealing leaking ducts may save you up to $330 per year. Remember to have your furnace tuned up too!
3. Get a programmable thermostat and use it! Remember to use the temperature hold button if you are going to be out of the house for a couple of days!
4. Use LED light bulbs. Although they are expensive, the long term cost of using these will save you about $75 per year (as per the EPA).
5. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees, not the typical preset temperature of 140 degrees when you take a new water heater out of the box. Wrapping an older heater in an insulating blanket will also save on heat loss.