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Home / Frugality / Top Ways To Lower Your Energy Bill This Winter

 

Winter Energy BillsAccording to a statistic released through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program, the average American household will spend around $2,200 on energy each year. The majority of that is used to heat and cool their homes. In many circumstances a portion of that cost is wasted. Here are the top ways to cut your energy bill without spending a fortune.

Air Leaks

Even if your home was recently built, you could have air leaks. These leaks are costing you money year round. You do not have to wait for a windy day to find them. Common ”hot spots” for air leaks are around window frames, doorways, baseboards, and window air conditioning units. You can diagnose where your leaks are by lighting a taper candle and moving it around suspect areas. If it flickers, you have a leak. The simplest solution is to caulk the area. At around $5 for a tube of caulk, this is definitely your cheapest option. Also, remember to cover the outside of an window air unit.

Insulate Your Attic

Many of us lose a great deal of warm and cool air through the roof of our homes. The best way to prevent some of that loss is with insulation. The EPA recommends between 12 and 15 inches between the joists in your attic. This project may cost up to $500, but you should recoup the cost within three years.

Air Filters

You should change your the air filter in your furnace every other month. This can get costly over time, so paying big for a washable filter makes sense over the long term.

Thermostats

Do you heat and cool your home while you are gone? Most of us do, but why keep an empty house comfortable all day long? According to the Energy Star program you can save about $180 each year by installing a programmable thermostat. Ok. Just installing doesn’t create the savings. Set it to change by a few degrees(warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter) while you are gone or sleeping and you should start seeing a difference on your monthly bill. A programmable thermostat will set you back less than $40 for a top-of-the-line model.

Wrap It Up

According to some home energy experts, your water heater accounts for up to 25 percent of your energy usage. Most of us think that it only uses energy after we use hot water. Not so. It has a thermostat and once the water in the tank cools, it heats it up again. You can wrap it with a fiberglass and plastic insulating blanket for less than $25 and thirty minutes of your time. You should recoup that cost within the first six months.

Making your home more energy efficient does not have to cost you a fortune. For even more savings, you can cover your windows with plastic and unplug electronics that are not in use. Good luck and happy savings!

 

About the author: Jerry Coffey

 

Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.

 

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