From clipping coupons to buying in bulk, every homeowner is on the lookout for ways to save money and slim their monthly household budget. One of the best ways to cut down on your summer and winter energy bills is by making your home more efficient. In fact, when you reduce the energy waste in your home, you’re not only reducing the electricity and gas you use, but you’re also lowering your home’s impact on the environment.
In this article, we’ll review some of the best ways to lower your energy use and save money. A great place to start is by calling us to schedule a whole-home energy audit here in Lockport, LaPlace, and St. Rose, Louisiana. The team at Dufrene’s Heating & Cooling is ready to help.
BUILD YOUR ENERGY-SAVING CHECKLIST
If you’re ready to get serious about saving energy (and money) in your home, it’s time to build an energy-saving checklist that will help you reduce energy waste and make your electric and gas dollar go further. Here are four places to start:
#1. SCHEDULE A WHOLE-HOME ENERGY AUDIT WITH OUR TEAM
One of the biggest obstacles for homeowners is knowing where to start. There’s just so much information out there about home upgrades and energy-saving home maintenance projects—how do you cut through the noise and build a checklist that’s tailored to your individual home?
A great place to start is by scheduling a whole-home energy audit from the team here at Dufrene’s Heating & Cooling. This service is a game-changer: we send an energy specialist to your home to evaluate how your home is currently using—and probably wasting—energy. Based on the tests conducted during the audit, we pinpoint the places where upgrades will make the most significant impact and save you the most money.
This is the kind of information that online tutorials and articles cannot provide you. It’s a home energy checklist built for your home and its specific needs. Here’s an example: most energy blogs will advise you to have your ducts sealed to cut down on energy loss through the attic. However, our tests may show that your air duct energy losses are actually relatively minor compared to the cooled and heated air being lost through drafty windows that need relatively inexpensive weatherstripping added to them.
#2. MAINTENANCE MATTERS
When you think about energy use in your home, you probably picture a light bulb. However, your lights use a minuscule amount of electricity compared to your air conditioner, heat pump, and furnace. In fact, the average American household spends 47% of their overall energy bill on cooling and heating their home. In other words, if your air conditioner and furnace aren’t running efficiently, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle to cut your energy costs.
One way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your HVAC systems is by scheduling a spring and fall tune-up with our team here at Dufrene’s Heating & Cooling. Maintenance is more than a formality: it helps prevent breakdowns and boosts the overall efficiency of the system, allowing it to provide more comfort at a lower cost.
#3. MAKE SMART UPGRADES
“Automation” is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot, but—when it comes to your home—it’s a good thing. Automated systems remove the possibility for human error or forgetfulness, allowing things to continue running without you needing to remember multiple small, daily tasks.
One automated system we recommend is a smart thermostat. There are many different models and brands out there, each with its own features and perks. However, the core functionality is the same: smart thermostats allow homeowners to program automated temperature changes based on when they are normally at home or gone. This means no more having to remember to turn the thermostat back up when you leave the house. In the next section below, we’ll take a closer look at just how much this kind of automation can save you on an annual basis.
Similarly, you can put your lights on a timer that turns them off when you go to bed. This is especially useful for outdoor lights.
#4. SMALL ADJUSTMENTS ADD UP TO BIG SAVINGS
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to turn your home into a humid, hot jungle to save on your monthly energy bills. Even small adjustments of 1-2 degrees can make a huge impact. The U.S. Department of Energy has done the math and found that for every degree you adjust your thermostat up or down, depending on the season, you will cut your energy costs by 1%.
This is how smart thermostats help you save money. By scheduling your thermostat to automatically raise the temperature by 3-4 degrees while you’re away at work, you could see about a 3-4% reduction on your next energy bill. If you’re normally paying about $200 per-month for electricity in the summer, that’s a reduction of $8. That might not seem like much, but that’s almost $100 per year! With the right energy-saving schedule, your new thermostat could pay for itself in just a few years.