It’s almost 2019 and you know what that means? Resolutions time! And we’re not just talking about the ones you make at the gym. We want to help you with our top three ways to better your house for 2019 and make it more energy - and cost! - efficient.
Whether you have a hundred year old house or a new casa, there are always ways you can improve the functionality and electrical performance of your home. These three methods will work for houses of all sizes and ages, and help you save more money for the next 365 days.
Our Top Three Energy Money Savers for 2019
1: Upgrade your thermostat
Think about how much time you actually spend in your home. Chances are, you’re away for at least 40 hours of the week. What is your thermostat doing during those hours? If it’s staying at a consistent 74 degrees in the winter, you’re using money heating an empty house. How much money does that equal out to be?
Well, according to the US Department of Energy, the typical US family spends at least $2,200 per year on energy bills—with nearly half of that paying for heating and cooling.
By updating your thermostat to a model that has a schedule, you can significantly reduce the usage and waste of your heating and cooling efforts. You don’t even need a fancy model of thermostat - there are plenty of simple models for under $20 that can be programmed to run on a set schedule.
When programming your thermostat, another thing you can do to save money is turn your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter, and run your cooler a few degrees higher in the summer, and make sure you program it to be lower when you are away from the home.
2: Go solar
Solar power is one of the biggest home pushes of the past few years and it’s easy to see why. The benefits of solar energy are endless - from reducing your electricity bills, giving you a renewable source of power, reducing your carbon footprint, as well as increasing the value of your home, it’s a no-brainer to look into installing solar panels on your roof.
Although solar power is an investment up front, it is typically very low maintenance with the panels needing to be cleaned only a few times per year, and it usually pays for itself within the first few years. A lot of cities are even offering rebates to homeowners who are installing solar panels, so be sure to check for rebates in your area.
Approximately 48% of our energy use in our house is from heating and cooling, so if you’re able to generate some or most of that energy on your own, you’ll be saving yourself hundreds in no time.
3: Insulate for all seasons
We’re sure you’re feeling the cold draft coming under your basement door right about now - but did you know insulating your home will help you with your bills year round? A poorly insulated house means you lose heat in the winter and have to put more effort into cooling your house in the summer, costing you more energy and more money. Some simple insulation upgrades can help stave off that heat and cooling loss.
A few places to double-check your insulation are:
Do a quick home inspection and make sure the seals on all doors are tight. If you can see light coming through it or feel air coming through it, it is worth resealing. This also goes for the bottom of doors where the cold tends to leach through - you can buy a door sweep that will cover the gap and keep your warm air in and the cold air out.
If you have a newer house, chances are you have dual-pane windows. These help hold in the heat in the winter and don’t allow as much heat to come through in the summer. However, if you have a single pane window, basement windows, or just a window that is particularly drafty, try this trick: buy a roll of bubble wrap and cut strips to the size of your window. Spray the window with water, and stick the bubble wrap against the window. The pockets of air inside the bubble wrap function like a dual-pane window and can significantly increase the warmth inside your space. (We will admit, this does look better on basement windows that are out of sight.) Once winter is over, the bubble wrap peels right off!
A gap under your garage door can make a huge difference in the ambient temperature in your garage, not to mention your house. Make sure the garage door itself, and the door leading into the house both have a nice seal.
A roll of insulation costs about $15 at your local home improvement store, and only takes a few minutes to install.
Energy.gov has a great list of more places to insulate if you would like to ensure your entire home is covered.
By utilizing these home upgrades, you are saving yourself money immediately on your energy and utilities, and increasing your home resale value as well. What’s not to love? Tell us your favorite home energy tips in the comments below.