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With electricity and gas bills skyrocketing, its more important than ever to make energy usage adjustments to your home and its appliances, such as your microwave, electric stove, and HVAC unit. Take control of your utility bills.
Yes, its a sad fact of life; the price of residential energy, electricity as well as natural gas, is rising. No one is predicting that trend to turn around anytime soon. Energy policies put in place by President Joe Biden are putting a stranglehold on producers and are turning us back into into energy importers rather than exporters.
In view of this, we are going to be at the mercy of foreign producers, as they will dictate what we pay. This is why its extremely important to use your energy efficiency checklist. Every consumer benefits by taking measures to reduce energy consumption.
Free Ways to Conserve Energy and Money
The basic rule: remember the classic mom and dad mantra; "If youre not using it, turn it off".
Conserve the hot water: try taking briefer showers. Wash your clothes using cold water. Remember, the cost of heating water averages 15% of your homes energy bill. Better still, why not install a tankless water heater? There's no point in storing hot water and keeping it hot when no one is using it.
Hang your clothes out to dry. The clothes dryer consumes more energy than any appliance other than your refrigerator!
Keep your home warmer in the summer and use ceiling fans. Keep it cooler in the winter; wear a sweater.
Inspect and repair your door and window weather stripping.
Hang ceiling fans in your living room and bedrooms. The blades should rotate one way during the summer (blowing down) and the other way during winter(blowing up).
Higher Investment Ways to Save Energy and Money
Plant one or more shade trees where summer sun hits your home; leaves block the suns heat during the summer. When the leaves drop when fall arrives, the sunlight shines through the branches to warm your house. Win, win, yes?
Add more crawlspace and attic insulation in your if youre not up to snuff. A minimum of R-49 is the magic number in many places; yours might be different.
Apply radiant barrier paint to the bottom of your roof decking or or radiant barrier foil to your attic floor. Youll find that it will pay for itself very fast.
Upgrade Energy Star-rated windows or storm windows. During the winter time, the homes heat loss can be reduced by up to 50%.
Have a tankless water heater installed when your current one bites the bullet. This is a great way to save money. Theres no point heating water when no one is using it.
Are you putting in a new central air conditioner? Purchase one boasting a SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) of 13 or higher. Again, look for the Energy Star sticker.
If your home is in a low humidity area, go with an swamp cooler instead of an A/C. This technology adds humidity to your home; a conventional air conditioner removes it.
Dont Make all Your Energy Efficiency Upgrades at Once
I know its tempting, but resist. Think seasonally. Your attic improvements are best done during cooler weather, especially if you are doing the work yourself. Research what will bring you tax credits. Do those home improvements before the end of the tax year.
Plant trees on Arbor Day and always turn off the lights!.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at Considered Opinions Blog where he muses on many different topics.