Lowering Costs

Appliances and Lighting Improvements!

  • The typical homeowner spends on average $2200 annually on energy costs alone, some due to old or outdated appliances consuming an unnecessarily high percentage.  Energy Star, which is a joint program with the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, was established to help citizens save money on energy cost and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

Opt for purchasing some of these Energy Star rated household appliances next time you are in the market:

  • Refrigerator and Freezer:  these items are NEVER turned off and are constantly running in you home.  By switching to an energy-efficient model you will see a very fast return on your investment.
  • Dishwasher:  Purchase a unit with a booster heater.  This raises the temperature to the incoming water to 140°F, this allows for you to change the setting on your home water heater down to 120 °F, which can save you on average 10% on your dishwashing energy costs.
  • LCD TV instead of a plasma television.  Liquid Crystal Display’s (LCD’s) use 2-4 times less energy than your plasma television set. 
  • Washer and Dryer:  The typical American household washes approximately 400 loads of laundry per year and uses about 40 gallons of water per full load.  Experts suggest that if your unit is more than 10 years old, replacing it can save you over $135 annually. Dryers  are not Energy Star rated so be sure to get one with a moisture sensor so it will turn itself off when the clothes are finished drying.

In addition to efficient appliances there are some everyday actions that you can take that will help the environment and reduce your monthly utility bills.

  • Changing to Energy Star CFL light bulbs, and ultimately to LED bulbs when their availability and pricing improves.
  • Microwaves not only use less power than ovens, but ovens heat up the kitchen and trigger more air conditioning usage and higher energy bills.
  • Turn off the computer and other appliances when not in use.  (When possible use power strips instead of plugging your computer into the wall outlet, that way when you turn off the power strip, it is OFF).
  • Make use of natural lighting as much as possible.
  • Use LED or fluorescent lighting in exchange for incandescent (remember not to forget about energy efficient Holiday decorations, night lights and outdoor motion sensor lighting).
  • Turn off lights when leaving the room. This includes ceiling fans for they are not used to cool the room, but rather the occupants.Clean dryer lint filter after every load.

HVAC and Water-Heating Improvements!

  • According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, heating and cooling your home amounts to 45% of your utility bill.   Heating and cooling systems in the United States emit 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.  Maintaining and upgrading your household HVAC equipment is ideal when it comes to performance and saving money on energy costs. 
  • Water-Heating accounts for approximately 12% of the average homeowners’ annual energy costs.   Selection is key when it comes to reducing your monthly water heating bills.  
  • The quickest payback of all is an A/C “tune up” inspection for anyone that hasn’t had one lately.  Scheduling these inspections annually is a worthwhile investment.
 

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