Your utilities are one of the most expensive line item in your budget. On top of that, your utilities are most likely not coming from a renewable source. Your water and electricity and gas usage dips into a finite pool of resources humankind have. For the sake of your wallet and for the sake of the planet Earth, you want to reduce your energy consumption. Here are a few tips to reduce your renewable resources:
- Fix your water heater leaks as soon as you can.
Our first two suggestions address your hot water heater. Your hot water heater is one of the biggest users of energy in your home. If you have a water heater leak, it’s a double dozy. Your hot water heater fills up and warms the water in preparation for your next shower. Then, thanks to the water heater leak, it slowly leaks out. Then, it has to refill and reheat, all for nothing. You’re basically wasting the electricity or gas or whatever fuels your hot water heater. It also flushing the water down the drain. This wastes hundreds of dollars every year. Fixing a water heater leak is relatively simple and inexpensive. It pays for itself in a short amount of time.
- Look into a tankless water heater installation.
Your hot water heater accounts for like 18% of your total energy bill. This is because the hot water heater fills up the tank of water and then maintains the temperature constantly. If you don’t use the hot water that your tank goes through the trouble of heating up, the water starts to cool off, and then the heater reheats it. The cycle continues on and on. The energy that it takes to reheat the water over and over is a huge drain on your bank account.
On the other hand, if you use a tankless heater, only the water that is being used is heated. There are no hot water leaks because their is no tank to leak. Not to mention (this isn’t an energy-saving tip, just an extra benefit of installing a tankless heater) when you have a tankless water heater, you don’t have worry about running out of hot water. There is no bigger bummer than getting suds up in a hot shower and then getting freezed out.
The drawback to a tankless water heater is that installing a water heater that is tankless can be expensive. Also, if your tankless hot water heater is electric, you might find that you use hot water faster than your heater can produce it; if you’re concerned by this, you might want to consider the size of water heater. However you have to install a water heater anyways, you will likely make up the cost of it quickly.
- Have your HVAC system checked out.
Besides your hot water heater, your HVAC system is the next biggest drain of energy in your home. It’s one of those things you can’t choose to go without. Depending on where you live, you likely depend on it for heating or cooling or both throughout the year.
Even though you can’t not use your HVAC system, there are a few ways that you can cut back on your HVAC energy usage:
- Change out your air filter at least every three months; more if you use your HVAC system a lot or if you live in a dusty area. This will ensure that air can freely flow through your system and the components don’t have to work in overdrive to push air through.
- Check out your air ducts. If you ever left your front door open as a child, your mom probably told you to shut the door because they can’t afford to cool the entire neighborhood. If you have leaks in your air ducts, this is just what you’re doing. You can check your duct work for leaks yourself, but it’s also an inexpensive job to bring an HVAC pro in to do for you.
- Clean the fins of your HVAC unit. The fins are the vents on the unit outside. If they are blocked, your compressor has to work harder to pull air in from outside. This costs you money and shortens the lifespan of your HVAC system. Clean your HVAC fins at the change of each season for best results.