7 Steps to Lower Energy Costs

7 Steps to Lower Energy Costs

Reduce the amount you spend on electricity and water heating bills in seven simple steps.

1 Install motion/light sensors and dimmer switches

Automatic systems conserve light energy when you don't need it.

2 Unplug appliances when you’re not using them

Appliances drain energy even when they’re turned off. This is known as “vampire power,” and the Department of Energy estimates it may spike your electric bill by more than 10 percent.

3 Use less heat

Wash your clothes in cold or warm water, lower the base temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees, and turn off the heated drying cycle on your dishwasher.

4 Keep your hands off the thermostat

Frequently changing your thermostat settings wastes energy. Stick with a regular schedule of changes, or consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust temperatures.

5 Install a tankless water heater

Tankless heaters may cost more than tank-style heaters, but they can save you more than $100 a year over traditional counterparts. Plus, they offer benefits such as compact design, a longer lifespan and better warranties.

6 Repair or replace your front door

Your front door is a source of heating and cooling energy loss. Check caulking and weather stripping to ensure it’s properly sealing in air. And consider replacing older, thinner doors entirely. Newer models offer better insulation.

7 Upgrade your equipment

HVAC systems, in particular, tend to lose efficiency after 10 years. In many cases, you can take advantage of tax rebates or incentives to upgrade Energy Star-qualified replacements.

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