We know that after the holidays saving money is an important and often necessary goal for many of us. At Thornton & Grooms we came up with some easy, no-cost tips to help you attain this New Year’s resolution.
- Change your furnace air filter monthly. A dirty air filter causes your heating & cooling system to work harder and longer. A clean air filter will keep your system working as efficiently as possible, ensuring your utility costs remain as low as possible.
- Turn down the temperature control thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F. For each 10 degrees F reduction in water temperature, you can save about 3-5% in home energy costs. Although most water heater thermostats are set at 140 degrees F, most households have plenty of hot water when set to 120. Reducing your water temperature can also extend the life of your water heater and pipes by slowing mineral buildup and corrosion.
- Turn off lights when leaving a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb can save about $15 per year. (Of course, replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs will cut your lighting electric bill by up to 85%!)
- While brushing your teeth, stop running the water. Although running water does not use energy per se, heating the water does so avoid wasting hot water in particular.
- Turn off power strips or unplug appliances - especially when leaving for vacation. Most appliances when plugged in still draw power when turned off - this is called phantom power. So, stop the ghosts from costing you money when you're away!
- Close the blinds to block direct sunlight in the summer and keep the cold out during winter nights. These measures help to stabilize the temperature indoors and reduce the burden on your home heating and cooling systems, which typically use about 50% of the energy in your home.
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.