5 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bills
As the temperatures begin to climb, we close our windows and turn on the air conditioning hoping to avoid high cooling bills. There are some things you can do that will help lower your energy bills this summer and all year long. Most of these are simple tasks you can do with just a few tools and a quick trip to your home improvement store.
1. Re-Caulk your Windows
Your windows are a large contributing factor to energy loss in your home, especially if you don’t maintain them. You should inspect your window caulk inside and outside at least once a year. If it’s cracking, pulled away from the window frame, or missing, you need to re-caulk. It’s easy and just requires the right kind of caulk and a caulk gun, both of which you can get at your local home improvement store. An associate can even help you pick the best kind for inside and outside.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If your home is empty all day long and you run your air conditioning, you’re wasting your money. Just by raising your thermostat by 7-10 degrees during the work day, you can lower your utility usage by as much as 10%! A programmable thermostat’s cost can be recouped in a short time and can be installed in less than an hour with a screwdriver.
3. Check Your Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is the seal around your doors. Over time it loses its effectiveness and needs replacing. When you feel hot air coming in from outside around your door, yours needs to be replaced. Most weather stripping is attached with a very strong sticky tape and easy to remove and re-install. Just be sure to measure both around your door and the depth of the door jam to get the right size and length.
4. Attic Insulation
If your home was built before 1982, you likely don’t have the recommended R-value of insulation in your attic. A good rule of thumb is that it should be about level with your floor joists. If it’s not, you want to consider adding some. Click here for the ENERGY STAR® guidelines for different areas of the US.
5. Change Out Your Bulbs
LED bulbs are more affordable than ever. When you compare the cost of an incandescent bulb to an LED and include the number of bulbs you need and the energy they consume, it makes sense to convert your entire house, even if your current bulbs still work. When you compare the light equivalent of 60 watt incandescent bulbs, you only need a 10 watt LED bulb. Right there, you’re using less electricity. One LED bulb lasts about 25,000 hours. At 12 cents per KWH, the lifetime energy cost of the LED bulb is just $30 where you’ll need more than 20 incandescent bulbs over the same time and spend $180 on electricity.
Of course, there are bigger projects that can help you lower your energy bills even more. If you’re considering energy efficient replacement windows, new insulated siding, or solar panels for your home, we have funding options that can help. Hamilton Group Funding offers renovation loans or cash-out refinancing. Contact one of our mortgage consultants to learn more about our many funding options.