We all want to be comfortable and happy at home. The right features and upgrades make this possible and more, but it comes at a cost. Things like large TVs, water features, and more are fun to have at home, but they’re driving up your energy bill.
In this day and age, we can all stand to save money in any way possible. From rising costs of living to greater energy needs, why not save some cash on your energy bill every month?
Do you know where your home energy is going? In this guide, we’ll review the top home features that will increase your energy if you’re not careful. Let’s start saving!
1. Inefficient Lights and Appliances
If you have an older home with older lights and appliances, you probably haven’t made the switch to energy efficient. To start, using incandescent bulbs will result in increased spending over the year. The lifetime of these bulbs is shorter, and they use significantly more energy. It’s easy to swap these bulbs with LED lights which us 80%+ less energy.
When it comes to your appliances, you can upgrade all of your appliances to Energy Star rated models. Energy Star is a government rating that proves these machines use less energy to get the job done. You can think of older-model appliances as energy vampires. They suck all of your home’s energy with nothing in return!
2. Your Water Heater
Did you know your water heater might be a drain on your home’s energy? While having hot water is definitely something you don’t want to go without, it might be in need of some help.
How fast does it take to warm up the water in your tap? It’s probably pretty fast, and this is because your water heater is constantly warming the water in the tank. While this is a good thing, you probably don’t need it to be set so high.
A great way to reduce your energy cost and make your home more efficient is to lower the temperature of your water heater. Setting it to 120 F will do the trick, and you probably won’t even notice the difference.
3. Phantom Electronics
You probably have a lot of electronics in your home that you love. Your TV, your computer, your smartphones, and your gaming devices are all things you can’t live without. Luckily, you don’t need to get rid of these devices to save big on your energy costs.
However, did you know that these electronics might be costing you big with your energy bill? It’s true. There are a lot of myths about how electronics drain your home’s energy. While it’s true a larger electronic (like a big-screen TV) will use more power than a smaller screen TV, this isn’t the most important thing to worry about.
It’s how you use these electronics that matters more. When you leave your electronics on standby mode, they become “phantom electronics.” This means they’re not fully on, but they’re also not fully off. When they’re in standby, even if you’re not using them, they’re often performing updates, downloading content, and generally wasting energy. The Department of Energy claims this accounts for up to 10$ of your power bill.
What can you do instead? Make sure your devices are fully turned off when they’re not in use. If possible, use a surge protector and unplug your devices when not in use so they don’t keep draining energy.
4. Swimming Pool and Water Features
Who doesn’t love spending time by a swimming pool during the summer? Swimming pools can effectively increase your home’s value, but they might also come at a high cost to your energy bill. In fact, your pool can cost over $1000 a year just to run.
The same is true of many water features. Basically, if you need any electronics to run your water features, whether it’s a pool, pond, or fountain, it’s costing your home’s energy.
There are some ways to save your pool and water features from draining your energy bill. First, don’t heat your pool or water feature if you can avoid it. This is usually the most expensive. Next, use a pool cover and a multispeed pump so you can control the temperature and how often you’re pumping the filter.
5. Windows and Doors
The wrong windows and doors can cost you big time. If your windows and doors aren’t properly insulated, you might be losing heat in the winter or losing cool air in the summertime. This means your energy has to run into overtime to make up for the difference.
To fix this, check the insulation on your windows and doors. If there are any holes or cracks, fill them with a DIY project. If possible or necessary, upgrade these features altogether.
Bonus: Your Habits
Last but not least, your habits actually have the biggest effect on how much you pay on your home’s electric bill. That’s right, while this isn’t necessarily a home feature, it can impact how much energy you use.
There are actually peak times for consuming energy, and this is when energy companies experience the greatest demand for power. These peak hours are usually during the day and early evening. If you can, find out when it’s cheapest to run your appliances. Usually, the best time to run larger appliances is at night when there’s less demand for energy.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill
Knowing the home features that will increase your energy bill is the first step to saving money. While there are some changes that are hard to make, even small steps can have a big payoff.
Is your energy bill creeping too high for comfort? See if you can save with one of the features above. You might be using your home’s energy all wrong and not even know it.