With fuel costs on the rise, many consumers are wondering what they can do to reduce home energy bills. Making your home more energy-efficient can be surprisingly quick, easy and cost-effective.
Next time you’re out running errands, keep these five items on your list of things to buy, and you could start seeing the savings in no time:
1.Window insulation kit. Properly sealing drafty windows not only increases the comfort of your home, but may also significantly decrease your energy bills. Insulating windows is an inexpensive and effective way to keep warm air in and cold air out. Choose a product that can easily fit a variety of window sizes, such as the Roll-On Window Kit by Duck Brand, which requires no measuring and minimal cutting and is practically invisible.
2.Programmable thermostat. A pre-programmed device allows you to control the temperature of your home year-round. According to Energy Star, homeowners can save around $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.
3.Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Switch out incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, which use at least 75 percent less energy. You can find CFLs that last up to 10,000 hours – about 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs. Try the n:vision line, which includes soft white, bright white and daylight energy-efficient bulbs, so you can find just the right light for any room in your house.
4.Insulation. Inadequate insulation in your home may allow cool air to escape in the summer and warm air to be lost in the winter, potentially overworking your heating and cooling systems. Add insulation in the attic, crawl spaces, ceilings and exterior walls to help save energy, reduce your operating costs and keep your home comfortable.
5.Furnace filters. Replacing or cleaning furnace filters once a month during the winter will help your heating system operate more efficiently and can keep harmful bacteria, mold, viruses and pollen out of the air. Furnace filters are available in multi-packs, so you can always have one on-hand. You could also consider installing a permanent furnace filter, which is washable and cuts down on waste by eliminating the need for throwaway fiberglass screens.
For a minimal investment, you could see hundreds of dollars in energy savings throughout the year. One trip to the store and a few minutes at home are all it takes to make small changes that really add up.