How high does your home electric & gas bill reach? Many home owners and renters are trying to cut their energy cost because it can get very high if you stop controlling your energy use. However, people who are not yet independent may not be aware of how high the energy cost can be. Most people are aware that it takes more energy to heat your home compared to cooling your home, which means energy bill is higher during winter than summer. I live in a single family house that is about 3000 square feet of living space including basement and my energy bill ranges from $125 – $360 per month in a 12 month cycle. Here’s what I do to lower my energy cost as much as possible.
These days, it is very easy to replace all your light bulbs to energy star compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Not only do CFLs use less energy, they even last many times longer than standard light bulbs. I also have a habit of turning off my lights when leaving a room.
Install Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat can help you save a lot of money and energy because they can change your inside temperature settings automatically when you leave your house. Because air conditioning and heating is the biggest contributor on your total energy cost, you can save the most energy by better controlling your home temperature especially during Summer and Winter. The BGE has an energy saving program that gives you free programmable thermostat (valued at $290) and up to $200 credit.
Space Heaters Are Your Friend
Because it takes the most energy to heat your home during Winter, it is wise to find ways to lower heating cost in Winter. One obvious way to accomplish this is to lower the temperature using your programmable thermostat. Although you may be able to deal with cold during day time, night time is a different story. However, there is an answer and it is called space heater. I recommend purchasing decent space heaters for each of your bedrooms and use it to heat only those rooms during night time. This way, you are not wasting energy heating the whole house when no one will be using it other than the bedrooms. It is easy to take advantage of your programmable thermostat to turn on the heating before you wake up in the morning so that it is not too cold in the house outside of the bedrooms.
Purchase Energy Star Appliances
As your appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washer & dryers, and water heaters start to age and need replacement, you should seriously consider replacing them with Energy Star appliances. They may initially cost more but you will recover the cost difference plus more in energy savings as you use new appliances 5-10 years.