Your energy costs may be driving you into the poor house. The average American family spends, in some cases, hundreds to thousands of dollars in extra energy costs in their homes every year.
It is relatively simple to cut these unnecessary costs by making smart, energy-efficient choices. Just don’t wait until the last minute or it can be costly, especially in the times we saw this past summer and winter. When temperatures are extreme, so are the prices.
Here are some energy-saving tips:
- To increase your heating and cooling system efficiency — replace your filters and clean your heating and cooling system twice a year. Best to have a professional company take care of this for you.
- Do not block registers and return vents with furniture or drapes.
- Unplug your devices. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average household spends about $100 per year to keep power immediately available. Multiply this by all households nationally — billions of energy is being wasted!
- Keep the tank clean. About 20 percent of the energy used by the average home is used to heat water for showers, baths, washing machines and dishwashers. Depending on the quality of your water, drain off the sediment in the bottom of your hot water heater — at a minimum of every other year. If you have that white sediment on your faucet where the water flows, think about what the inside of your water heater looks like.
- Check thermostat temperature. Set your thermostat to 68-70 degrees during the day in the winter and 65-68 degrees at night to keep your home comfortable and save on heating costs. Turning down your thermostat too low at night can actually cost more to bring the temperature up during the day. You can invest in a programmable thermostat that will automatically do this daily for you.
- Limit your use of portable heaters. They’re great for “spot” heating but running a 1,500-watt heater 24/7 can be expensive. Have a recessed wall heater installed that has its own thermostat that can be set to the temperature of your liking, whether you are home or not.
- Replace worn washers in leaking faucets promptly. A faucet that leaks one drop of water every second wastes 200 gallons of water a month. The average cost of a gallon of water in the supermarket is 98 cents to $1.20. You can buy a lot of “latte’s” for this — or better yet, put it in your vacation fund.
- Seal and insulate your air ducts. Have you ever thought about this: Heat loss from leaky, un-insulated ducts, especially those in unheated attics and basements, can reduce the efficiency of your heating system by as much as 30 percent.
- Give your water heater a vacation too. When you leave your home for a weekend or longer, go to your electrical panel and flip off the switch for your water heater.
- And even more importantly, turn off your main water shut-off valve. If you are not sure where this is located, we can come out and tag this as well as your main gas turn-off valve. One inch of broken pipe can lose 30-60 gallons of water per minute! Do that calculation at 98 cents to $1.20 per gallon.
Whether you are in Kalispell, Whitefish, Bigfork, Columbia Falls or anywhere else in the Flathead Valley. . .As always, your Safety and Comfort is our Central concern. Call 406-756-6656 for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs.