Seeing Green: Simple Tips to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Maintaining a home comes with many costs. According to PURE Energies, an average home utility bill in the United States is a hefty $163 per month—a number that can fluctuate based upon usage and location. If you want to save money on your water and power bill to put toward that summer beach trip, follow these tips.
Go with the low-flow.
Installing low flow-faucets and showerheads can save gallons of water — and money. Standard showerheads use five to 10 gallons of water each minute, while low-flow versions use just over two in the same amount of time.
Toilet won’t stop running? Catch the leak.
Even toilet tanks that have a slow leak can waste several gallons of water each day. The cost of this wasted water will drain your wallet over time. To see if your toilet is leaking, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If you start to see color in the bowl after 30 minutes without flushing it, you likely have a leak.
Insulate, insulate, insulate.
According to Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, 50% of homes in the U.S. don’t have enough insulation. Inadequate insulation allows warm air to escape in the winter and cool air to escape in the summer. Improving your insulation is an easy way to help your home stay comfortable and keep your energy bill at a minimum.
Keep drafts at bay.
Drafty windows and doorways take a toll on your home’s energy efficiency. To keep your heating and cooling system from working overtime, recaulk the places where air could easily escape. According to EnergyStar, the leader in home energy efficiency, homeowners could save up to $200 a year through this simple repair.
Invest in efficient appliances.
Although it initially seems like an unnecessary expense, replacing appliances with energy-efficient models will be worth the investment. These appliances require less power to do the same job, and your neighbors will be green with envy when they hear about the decrease in your bill.
Keep the green in your pocket.
Spending data collected by Mint.com shows that utility costs are going up—but you have the power to lower your bill. With a few simple home upgrades and routine maintenance, you’ll start to see a decrease in how much you pay for water and utilities.