During the seasonal months of extreme winter, the energy costs rise as a result of utilizing heat in the winter and air conditioning during the summer months. There are some ways to save energy costs which will ultimately lower your overall energy bills. Certain areas of the country obviously have fewer temperature extremes, however, it is always good to be prepared and maintain your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) regardless of your location in the country. Overall when reducing your energy usage, you will be saving money!
Service the HVAC
Don’t wait for the middle of summer to have your air conditioner serviced, or worse it breaks and now you don’t have one at all! If you have central air conditioning, it is important to have it serviced on a regular basis to ensure it does not break during crucial times when the heat can be extreme. And keep in mind if the temperature is 110 degrees out, the HVAC companies are going to be BUSY, and they may charge you more. If you need an AC unit, you might try to have installed offseason when the companies are less busy.
Be sure to regularly replace HVAC filters. This is often overlooked. If it is a vacation home, perhaps a little less often. However in your primary home and you have pets then consider every 90 days to allow your HVAC unit to operate properly and efficiently.
There are many programmable thermostats when the heat can be turned down at night and set to go on a higher temperature when the family is getting up to begin the day. The thermostat can also be turned down to a cooler temperature during the day if no one is occupying the house and people are at work or school. There are high-end programmable thermostats such as the Nest where you can operate it with your iPhone. Nest even has a Learning Thermostat and it learns what temperature you prefer and will build a schedule of your preferences. During the winter months, you want to keep the warm air in, and if your doors need the door seal replaced, it is a wise investment to do so. Additionally, during summer, you want to keep the cool air in so that an air conditioner is not working so hard to maintain a temperature set on a thermostat.Save energy and money by utilizing these energy saving tips!Click To Tweet
Dual Pane or Triple Pane Windows
Windows can make a huge difference by maintaining the temperature in the home. If you have single pane windows, then you may consider upgrading. If it is a historic home then you may want to make sure the windows are caulked to maintain the temperature inside the home.
Most newer homes have dual paned windows. There are now triple-glazed windows which consist of three panes of glass as opposed to two. The triple pane windows have layers of glass have a low-e coating and the space between the panes is filled with krypton gas. Windows do make a difference with maintaining the temperature within the home. Also, if the home has many windows, having window coverings will also help to maintain the temperature within the property.
Turn Off the Lights
It is important to turn off the lights when you are not using a room or an area to reduce energy bills. When you leave the property, turn off the lights, but leave on at least one or two on a programmable timer for safety reasons. If you are not physically at a property, you want to take the necessary precautions to protect your property, and having lights going on and off is important. Add timers for the front porch and exterior lighting as well so the house is not dark.
Consider utilizing energy-efficient light bulbs. There are many different types such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs). These lights bulbs can be more expensive however they utilize approximately 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents which will overall save you money. Additionally, these energy efficient light bulbs last much longer than a traditional light bulb.
Old refrigerators are not energy efficient and may end up driving up your electric bill. You may want to consider replacing your refrigerator with a new one and often times energy companies will provide a rebate for utilizing a new and updated refrigerator.
Dishwasher and Washer/Dryer
New dishwashers have really long cycles, depending on what cycle you choose extra heat or sanitize can increase the length of a cycle to over two hours. That is a long time for a dishwasher to run and it will be utilizing energy to run during this time. However, the new dishwashers are efficient with the temperature of the water usage. When running the dishwasher be sure it is full so you are being efficient with how often you are running it. And you can select a shorter cycle to save energy costs. Personally, for me the hotter the better for a dishwasher, but this does utilize energy costs.
Similarly, with a washing machine, the cycles can be long. However, the new washing machines use less water overall. Another way to save energy costs with a washing machine is to select a shorter cycle and utilize cold or cooler temperatures. Your clothes will not know the difference.
Make sure you clean the dryer filter, as the lint can build up and can be a major fire hazard. Every load that is put in the dryer needs to be cleaned out. Also, clean the dryer vent and remove the lint as it builds over time and can a hazard!
Add Door Seals and Weatherstripping
Do you have a drafty door or entrance? Keep the warm air in and make sure that there is a new and updated door seal and weather stripping has been replaced. This will help in reducing energy costs, especially in environments where extreme temperatures exist!
Along with the above tips, don’t forget your water usage. Some areas of the country are in a drought and saving water is so important. Many areas are now utilizing drought-resistant landscaping which requires less water. There are other ways to save water too! Consider utilizing low flow toilets, showers with flow restrictors and take shorter showers and baths. Utilize less water when cooking and cleaning too, there are ways to save water. This reduces costs but more importantly is more sustainable for the future.
If you have a water leak, your water bill may increase. That may be the way you determine that you have a water leak! Be sure to keep a close look on your property to look for potential leaks and address them. Water can be very damaging to a home, and leaks can result in mold!
There are many ways to save energy and resources by just being aware of them. Turning the lights off, re-programming a thermostat, and programming sprinklers can save energy and water. Be aware of your own energy use and carbon footprint for now and the future. Reducing your energy utilization will overall save you money and sustain the planet!
Find Other Valuable Resources for “Tips for Saving Energy Costs!” from Real Estate Professionals Across the Country. Please check out the articles below, and please share across Social Media if you liked the articles.
Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home via Michelle Gibson, Wellington Home Team
Save Energy with These Tips via Jamohl DeWal, Portland OR Real Estate
Making Your Home Cold Weather Resistant via Bill Gassett, Maximum Real Estate Exposure
About the Author
The above real estate article “Tips for Saving Energy Costs!” was written by Sharon Paxson of Newport Beach Real Estate. With experience since 2005 representing sellers, buyers, and landlords with their real estate transactions, we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise and guide you through the home buying or selling process.
We service the following Orange County CA areas: Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Santa Ana, Sunset Beach, Tustin, and more! If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.