In the last decade, sparked by rising gas prices and energy shortages, there has been a marked increase towards newer methods of generating energy. Solar power, wind power, and hydrogen fuel cells are just a few of the newer technologies that are predicted to come into their own in the next decade. But before you rush out to invest in these newer energy sources, you should first take a look to see how you can save on your existing energy costs.If you wish to learn more about this, visit tips for getting an ac unit ready for summer.
- Use energy saving light bulbs. You can now find energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs in all shapes, colors, wattages, and sizes. Not only can they save you up to 75% of your current light bulb energy costs, but because they burn at less intensity than incandescent bulbs, it’s not unusual for them to last as much as 10 times longer. When these bulbs first came out, they were very expensive, but every year the prices come down more and more.
- Replace your normal thermostats with programmable thermostats. Depending on the size of your heating area, you can save hundreds of dollars of year by simply programming the thermostat to turn off your heat and air conditioning at times when you are not home. The prices of these have come down so much that you can get one with multiple day and hourly settings for under $100. You’ll typically recoup your cost in less than a year.
- Insulate the walls in your home with cavity wall insulation. Heat loss through walls, ill fitting doors, un-insulated windows and doors can be enormous. Estimates range from 20% on the low end to 70% on the high end.
There are three main types of wall insulation materials to choose from – polyurethane foam insulation, urea formaldehyde foam, and blown mineral fiber. Prices will vary depending on the part of the country where you live.
Cavity wall insulation can easily be one of the most cost saving measures you can make to your home. The average home owner can cut their cost up to 35% and recover their cost within two years – possibly one. An additional benefit is that it usually helps to sound proof your home from outside noises and disturbances.
In addition to cavity wall insulation, it is also useful to seal window cracks in windows, doors, and the foundation with caulk and other forms of weather stripping.
- Insulate your loft or attic. Heat rises, so it’s no surprise that in homes with lofts or attics, that’s where much of the heat loss occurs. A simple way to insulate the attic is to lay insulation materials over the attic floor, between the joists, and over the joists if they are visible. An insulation material with an R-38 rating is best.
- Replace your furnace or boiler with an energy efficient one. If your boiler or furnace is near the end of its life span, replacing it with an energy efficient unit can repay its installed cost in three years. The important feature to look for is one with an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of at least 85%. The higher the AFUE rating the more fuel efficient it is.
These are just some of the simple steps you can make to your home to improve your energy use and cut your energy costs.
No one of us can solve the energy crisis by ourselves. But we can all do our part by taking smaller measures to reduce our individual energy consumption.