8 Ways to Minimize Energy Costs

thermostatEconomic times are tough, and summer’s heat or winter’s chill can cause your energy bills to skyrocket. Though going without air conditioning may be doable for some hardy souls, going without heat in the winter probably is not. The good news is you needn’t give up either to be able to make a significant difference in your next energy bill.

1. Check the thermostat on your hot water heater. The default setting on many models is 140 degrees, but 120 is really all you need, year-round. Some experts estimate that lowering your maximum water temperature this much can save you up to 10 percent on your utility bill.

2. Check for leaks, and repair them. Faucets, toilets, and pipes can all leak; this is obviously a waste of water and money. While you’re at it, checking your roof for leaks isn’t a bad idea, either.

3. Don’t cook in the oven when the stove or microwave will do the trick. Both use much less energy than the oven. A toaster oven is another less expensive option. In the summer, the oven imposes the added expense of making your air conditioner work harder by heating up your house.

4. Replace filters regularly. Clogged air filters mean more frequent repairs; they also mean the appliance (air conditioner, dryer, etc.) will have to work harder, longer.

5. Ceiling fans are great – when you’re home. Ceiling fans only circulate the air that’s inside the house; they don’t actually cool it down. The moving air can help you feel cooler, but when you leave the house, turn fans off or you are wasting energy.

6. Check the temperatures of your refrigerator and freezer. The fridge should run at around 37 to 40 degrees; the freezer’s fine at around five degrees. Dropping any colder than that only wastes money. Also, keeping these appliances full means they don’t have to work as hard. If your freezer isn’t full of food, try filling the empty space with plastic jugs or zipper-top bags full of water.

7. Don’t overlook the back of your refrigerator when you do your spring cleaning. If you’ve never thought about your refrigerator coils, pull the refrigerator out and dust them. Dirty, dusty coils cost you money by forcing your refrigerator to work harder.

8. Plant some trees. If it’s allowed where you live, and you are able, plant some trees near your house (but not too near) to create shade, which will help your home stay cooler as they grow. Make sure to plant deciduous trees, which have leaves that fall off during winter. That way, sunlight gets through when it’s needed – in the dead of winter, helping your heating bills.

Of course, energy savings are not instant; when you implement strategies to lower your utility bill, you see the savings over time. This is a great way to manage your finances and prevent unexpectedly high energy bills which could help put you into a serious financial jam. If that does happen, and you need funds quickly, contact Embassy Loans for help.