Five Ways to Lower Your Energy Bills

Five Ways to Lower Your Energy Bills

During the holidays, your energy bill can skyrocket thanks to holiday decor, more people in your home, and more. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy costs, here are five ideas!

1. For $250 to $800, an energy auditor can perform a detailed diagnosis of your home, identifying problems and possible solutions. Find auditors via the Building Performance Institute or Residential Energy Services Network. Also, an audit may qualify you for a rebate, so check with your utility provider.

2. If you have leaky window panes, a $5 tube of caulk is an inexpensive and easy way to remedy the issue. Also, talk to a window installer about adding flashing, which is the material that’s applied around the window edges for waterproofing.

3. Heating and cooling ducts that aren’t well-sealed are one way to decrease your energy efficiency. Cover accessible ducts with less than $100 worth of metal tape or mastic sealant.

4. Washing machines are one place where people use a lot of water and spend a lot of money. If you can spring for a new washer, a front-loading model is a good choice. They use roughly half the water of a top-loader, require less energy and detergent, and be gentler on clothes, says Rashkin of the DOE. If you aren’t ready to replace, most of the energy used in washing goes to heating the water, so stick with a cold- or warm-water setting.

5. Inspecting your insulation can help you see where some of your energy costs are going. Check your attic floor to see whether you need more; when the insulation sticks up above the floor joists, you probably have enough. Increasing insulation can shave about 20% off heating costs.