Most home ownership costs aren’t up to you: Property taxes, mortgage insurance, and mortgage payments, for example, aren’t up for negotiation. Your utility bill, however, can be lowered with careful investments in energy-saving upgrades. There are a few energy-saving tips that most people are already putting into action — such as insulation and swapping incandescent bulbs for CFLs — but others under the radar are just as simple and add up to significant savings. ABODO recommends
- Keep Hot Water In Check
Turn down the maximum temperature on your water heater to a warm, safe level, which will save you money as much as it will save you from accidentally scalding your hands in the dishwater. According to Energy.gov, this simple calibration can save you as much as $61 a year. Along the same lines, make sure your water pipes are insulated so heat isn’t lost during transmission, and insulate your water heater itself to preserve standby heat.
- Install Storm Windows
Replacing all of the windows in your home can be very costly. But you can reap many of the same efficiency rewards with storm windows. Storm windows have benefits beyond rain and snow. The thin, low-emissivity windows trap in infrared heat, are much more affordable than replacement windows, and can save you up to a third of your heating bill.
- Plug Into Power Strips
Turning off electronics at the wall is the only way to stop the slow suck of power. By plugging your TV, cable box, gaming systems, and other entertainment electronics into one strip, you can easily cut all power at once when not in use. The same goes for laptops and computers — “sleep” mode still uses significant power, and power is money.
- Check Ductwork/HVAC Seals
Do you feel like no matter how high you crank the thermostat, you can’t seem to shake the chill? If the duct through which your cozy warm air flows is poorly jointed and leaking, you’re not only losing valuable heat, but you’re also losing airflow — whatever heat doesn’t get lost will be moving slower and have a poorer chance of filling the room. According to EnergyStar, the average home loses up to 30% of its heated air to leaks. With a little metal tape (interestingly, not duct tape) or mastic sealant, you can make leaks a problem of the past.
Although consumer solar panels and a full set of brand-new energy-efficient appliances might not yet be feasible options for saving energy, there are small changes you can do around the house to be more conscious of power usage. After you make the household tweaks and get into the swing of saving, your bank statement will reward you.
If you are thinking about buying or selling in and around the San Antonio area, contact Jerry at 210-789-4216 or visit my website at Homes For Sale in San Antonio for more information