HOME SWEET HOME: Easy solutions to lower your energy bill

HOME SWEET HOME: Easy solutions to lower your energy bill

Energy bills are expensive, especially in the colder months when heaters, humidifiers and other items are being frequently used. Thankfully, small changes can be made to shave a few extra cents off your bill every month. Below, State Farm experts have compiled a list of things you can do, both short term and long term, to reduce the price of your home’s energy bill.

Unplug when you can. According to the Department of Energy, those small appliances that you only need for part of the day—the microwave, phone charger, and coffee maker, for example—consume a whopping 10 percent of your yearly energy costs. Use, then unplug if possible.

Notice the gaps around door frames. Just a slim gap of 1/8 inch around a door frame is about the same as having a 2.5-inch hole in a wall to the outside. To find out which doors and windows are contributing to your high energy bills, hold a lit candle close to the frames and see if a draft blows the flame. If so, consider sealing with plastic insulation kits or re-caulking windows, and boosting the weather stripping on doors.

Turn down your water heater. One of the biggest energy hogs in your home might surprise you: your water heater. Many are set to 140º, but 120º works well for daily needs. And turning down your water heater by just 10 degrees may save you up to five percent on your energy bill. Want another way to trim water costs? Identify and fix any leaky faucets; a drip a minute equals a lost $1.

Be tech-savvy. Technology continues to pay real dividends for homeowners, particularly when it comes to energy bills. Smart lighting options enable you to check whether you left lights on when you’re away from home, and smart blinds let you open and close window coverings to take advantage of sunlight or keep out nighttime drafts.

For long term saving on your energy bill, try these fixes:

Get an energy audit or assessment. Your utility company typically offers these free, and they’ll visit you in your home to help identify key areas to upgrade to save energy. They may suggest boosts in under- or uninsulated areas, as well as offer suggestions on a new HVAC system, too.

Plant some shade. Position new trees on the north and the west to block the coldest winds and summer’s most punishing rays. In addition, plant new trees to shade HVAC units to reduce air conditioning costs.

Replace inefficient house systems. New dishwashers consume about half the water as those from the 1990s, and efficient laundry appliances may trim your energy bill by about 20 percent.

This article was brought to you by State Farm. 

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