Easy Ways to Save Energy and Money
With Ohioans spending as much as 7% of their family income on utility bills, looking for ways to reduce those energy bills is a worthwhile investment. There are many areas of the home that can be improved to cut down on heating, cooling, lighting, cooking, and running other appliances where 75 percent of utility dollars are spent. In fact, one family of four can spend nearly $33 per month on hot showers alone.
By incorporating a few simple changes, a typical household can reduce its energy and water usage and save up to 20 percent on its natural gas, electric, and water bills a year. Here are some examples of ways to save.
$200+ per year
LED light bulbs
The average household can save about $225 in energy costs per year by replacing incandescent lights with LED light bulbs.
$100+ per year
A properly set programmable thermostat can save homeowners about $180 per year if they maintain those settings. Programmable thermostats store six or more settings per day and will adjust the temperature automatically based on a pre-established schedule. Customers with heat pumps should install an appropriate programmable thermostat.
$55 per year
Appliances account for up to two-thirds of electricity used in the home. Find out which appliances consume the most energy by using a kilowatt meter. A meter can also help identify appliances using “vampire power.”
$50+ per year
Energy Efficient Showerhead
Showers account for about 22 percent of water use in a home. Showerheads are measured by flow—the number of gallons they deliver per minute (gpm).
The greater the pressure pushing water through pipes and showerheads, the greater the volume of water forced out.
$30 per year
Bathrooms account for more than 60 percent of average household indoor water use. Using aerators and energy efficient showerheads, and fixing leaking faucets and toilets will save money. A leaking faucet dripping one water drop per second can waste about 3,000 gallons per year.
$24 per year
Up to 30 percent of your heating and cooling energy may be lost through holes and gaps in the exterior of your home. Check for air leaking through electrical outlets, switch plates, window frames, baseboards, weather stripping around doors, fireplace dampers, attic hatches and window mounted air conditioners. Using incense or a ribbon can be among the easiest ways to help detect leaks in these areas. Plug all holes to keep air from leaking out or in.
$20-$45 per year
Water heater blanket
Wrap older water heaters with an insulation blanket. A blanket is inexpensive and can save between 4-9 percent on water heating costs. Do not wrap a water heater less than five years old because it has enough insulation, and wrapping it may cause the tank to overheat.
$17 per year
Window and door insulation
The average home wastes from 25 to 40 percent of its energy because of poor window insulation. Consumers with older windows can use insulation kits in the winter to help create temporary storm windows. Also, use curtains, drapes, blinds and shades to better regulate home temperatures throughout the year. In the winter, draperies can be used to help reduce chills around windows. In the summer, they can be used to block light and heat in the middle of the day. Applying low-emission window film to south facing windows help reduce heat from entering the home. Installing storm windows to existing pane windows may be a cheaper, yet effective, option to replacing windows.
$16 per year
Refrigerators account for about 14 percent of an average home’s electricity bill. Keep your refrigerator or freezer away from direct sunlight or warm air (range, dishwasher, heating ducts, etc.) so that the appliance doesn’t have to use more energy to remain cold. Use a brush to clean the refrigerator’s coils so the appliance doesn’t have to work as hard. Use a thermometer to monitor its temperature. Replace old kitchen appliances with newer Energy Star-rated models. An energy efficient refrigerator can save $35-$300 on energy costs in its lifetime and Energy Star refrigerators use 20 percent less energy.
$8-$12 per year
Insulate water pipes to reduce heat loss. Foam pipe sleeves can help raise water temperature 2 to 4 degrees allowing for a lower water heater temperature. With insulated pipes, you will not have to wait as long for warm water to reach a faucet or showerhead.
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