Do you have any idea how much energy you use every month? Or do you simply pay the bill and move on with your life?
Considering the average American household spends about $2,000 every year on home energy bills, it’s a good idea to start thinking about ways to reduce our energy use. A few simple changes can save you hundreds of dollars every year. Reduce your kilowatt-hours (kWh) and start saving now!
Average Energy Consumption in U.S. Homes
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. households consumes about 11,000 kWh) per year. Below are the 2015 shares of annual residential electricity consumption:
- Air Conditioning: 18%
- Heating: 17%
- Water heating: 14%
- Lighting: 10%
- Refrigerators: 7%
- Appliances: 13%
- TV and related: 7%
- Other Miscellaneous: 14%
You can estimate the energy use of specific appliances and products in your with the Appliance Energy Calculator from the Energy Department.
7 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill
1. Regular HVAC Maintenance
One of the best ways to ensure big energy savings is by getting your HVAC equipment tuned up twice a year. Schedule professional heating maintenance in the fall and air conditioning maintenance again in the spring.
Getting your HVAC system cleaned and inspected will help it run more efficiently and keep it from breaking down when you need it the most. Proof of regular HVAC maintenance is also required to keep your HVAC warranty in effect.
Schedule your Heating & Cooling Pro-Check from the certified professionals at Sobieski Services. We serve homes and businesses across Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
2. Thermostat Adjustment
Every season, it’s important to revisit the thermostat settings to get the most from your central air system. As a general rule, you can save about 1% on heating and cooling costs for every degree you set the thermostat back for a period of 8 hours or longer.
Do you own a programmable thermostat? If so, consider programming the thermostat to begin heating or cooling the house about a half hour before anyone returns. A programmable thermostat can help you save quite a bit on your energy bill, especially during the transitional months when the weather is trickier. Many modern thermostats can be controlled from your laptop or phone app.
Learn how to program your thermostat for maximum savings.
3. LED Lighting
On average, electric lighting is responsible for about 15% of a home’s monthly energy consumption. Consider replacing all of your indoor lights with LED bulbs, which last 50-100 times as long as incandescents and use only 8-12 watts for an equivalent 60 watts. They are also far more durable (no filament) and eco-friendly (no mercury).
4. Landscaping and Window Treatments
Almost half of the unwanted heat in your home comes from sunlight absorbing through your windows, roof, and walls. Cool your home naturally with strategically placed trees, vines, shrubbery, awnings, shutters, screen guards, drapes, and blinds.
Reflect the sun’s heating rays with light-colored blinds and drapes. Combine this with highly reflective solar screens to block even more rays. If you are in the market for replacement windows, there are manufacturers who sell reflecting glass windows.
Strategically plant trees and hedges to conserve energy in summer and winter. Large deciduous trees can block the summer sun while a row of conifer trees on the north and northwest sides can protect your home against cold winter winds.
Smart landscaping and window treatments will make an enormous difference in your comfort and energy savings.
5. Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans only cost about 2 cents per hour to run, but can help you feel significantly cooler and improve airflow and ventilation. Your ceiling fan can also help you save money in the winter by flipping the little black switch at its base. This will reverse the airflow and force warm air near the ceiling toward the ground. Fans delay the need for heating or cooling, allowing you to feel the same amount of comfort even if the thermostat setting is 3-5 degrees higher than normal. Remember that for every degree you raise the thermostat for a period of 8 hours or longer, you can save as much as 1% on your cooling bill.
Just remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room. It doesn’t actually change the temperature of the room; it only makes you feel cooler.
6. Duct Sealing
7. HVAC Replacement
Don’t wait until your HVAC system is completely broken before replacing it. You could be saving a lot more money and energy by replacing it sooner. If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, speak with a professional about how much you could save by replacing it.
Learn some tips for determining if it’s better to repair or replace your aging furnace.
Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling
Gas, oil, forced air, ductless mini-split, radiant heat — there are a lot of options when it comes to heating and cooling your home. Get a trusted pro on your side with a quick call to Sobieski Services. We take the time to listen to your needs and create a custom plan for your home and budget.