If your utility bill is high, there are way to tighten the belt on your energy consumption. More money in your wallet and less pollution in the environment are benefits of energy-saving changes around the house. The existing home structure and your current energy usage will help determine the best options for you to save money on your bill.
If you're wondering what shrubs have to do with energy savings, consider the function of these decorative landscape elements. When planted strategically, a shrub provides a barrier for wind. A large shrub barrier around the home can help block some of winter's cold wind, making your home feel more comfortable. Your heating system doesn't need to work as much so your energy bills are lower.
Trees planted strategically block wind and direct sunlight also help reduce energy. In the summer, the tree blocks sunlight from directly hitting the windows so your air conditioning unit works less. In the winter, the leaves are gone so at least some of the sunlight can filter into your windows, offering free warmth from the sun's rays.
Home improvement projects mean signing checks now, but you will get a return on part of your investment with lower utility bills. Depending on the age of your home, you might have several areas you can update to lower your utility bill. The heating and cooling system is a major upgrade that can make a difference on energy usage. Other upgrades include a new water heater, EnergyStar appliances, additional insulation, double pane windows, and insulated entry doors. Retailers offer rebates on some larger appliances. Your utility company might also offer rebates to encourage customers to become more energy-efficient.
Close Your Flue
If your home has a fireplace, the flue could let heated or cooled air escape. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the normal heating and cooling of the flue causes the metal to warp, allowing air out. Try a chimney balloon, which blocks air from escaping the flue. The balloon inflates and deflates as needed and is reusable. The balloon deflates automatically as soon as the heat reaches it if you forget to remove it before using the fireplace.
A lower setting on the thermostat means savings on your energy bill. No need to walk around with icicles hanging from your nose; only a few degrees will make a difference in your savings. Layers of clothing can keep you warm with a slightly cooler air temperature in the house. Throw blankets work well for additional warmth.
- house image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com