High energy bills are a concern for most homeowners and finding ways to reduce those costs by improving home efficiency is an ongoing priority. Implementing ways to save energy has benefits for both your wallet and the environment. Luckily, some solutions are relatively easy and inexpensive to put in place. EnergyStar ratings help you identify efficient appliances. Products like programmable thermostats and HVAC filters make energy conservation easy, convenient and cost-effective by maximizing the efficiency of your HVAC equipment.
Some energy hogs are easy to overlook, but also easy to fix. Here are five common causes of high energy bills:
1. Vampire appliances and phantom power.
These are appliances that use energy continuously when they are plugged in, regardless of whether or not they are turned on. These typically include anything that uses a remote control or is always in standby mode such as DVRs, televisions, garage door openers, microwave ovens and smart home devices. While these items don’t use as much energy when they are off, the amount they use can account for as much as 30 percent of your electric bill.
2. Inefficient light bulbs.
Energy efficient light bulbs provide the same amount of light (lumens) as incandescent bulbs using a fraction of the energy. While they cost more to purchase, they last much longer and save money throughout their lifetime.
3. Home is not properly insulated.
A home that is not properly insulated wastes energy because the heat that is generated by a furnace or the cooled air from an air conditioner is not being contained in the home. Old windows, drafty spaces, cracks and leaks around doors and windows also contribute to higher energy bills.
4. Old, outdated appliances.
Old appliances waste energy because they were not built to be as efficient as new appliances, and they likely don’t work as well as they did when they were new. Get rid of appliances that you don’t use by donating or recycling them, and replace older inefficient appliances with new ones that are EnergyStar rated.
5. Charging devices.
Most devices only need a few hours to fully charge. Keeping them plugged in all day or overnight unnecessarily adds to your electricity usage.
How to Reduce Your Wattage Usage:
- Install energy efficient LED lighting.
- Clean or change your HVAC filters regularly to keep your system at peak efficiency.
- Install a programmable thermostat to save on heating and cooling when you are not home, in rooms that aren’t in use and overnight.
- Install EnergyStar appliances that are rated for energy efficiency.
- Turn off, unplug, reduce – be mindful of the vampires appliances that are using power 24/7.