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Energy and Money Saving at Home

10 Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

As the temperatures drop outside, the thermostat goes up inside, causing many a homeowner to sweat just thinking about their next power bill.

That’s why winter is a popular time for many to look for ways to save and reduce energy at home. As home builders and general contractors, we at Boutwell Contracting & Development know the importance of energy-efficient homes and appliances.  We work with our clients to offer strategies for energy efficiency in their new homes and additions.

But even in your existing home, there are things you can be doing to save energy and cut back on your heating bills.  Consider these 10 tips for saving energy at home.

Use your caulk gun.

Use your caulk gun to fix air leaks

Caulk and weather strip around doors and window frames that leak air. This is always a home resolution for winter months. Get more serious about stopping leaks by checking plumbing lines, electric wires, recessed lighting, crawlspaces and attics. Use a few cans of  spray foam to seal these leaks into your home. This could result in saving of up to $220 a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Ditch the old fridge.

It seems like a great idea. You buy a new energy-efficient refrigerator for the kitchen and then put the old fridge out in the garage as an overflow space.  But according to energystar.gov, refrigerators and freezers made before 1993 are inefficient  and cost more than $100 per year in electricity, which by the way, is twice as much as some of the new energy efficient models.

Install a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat will save energy

You can use this to adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or asleep.  No need to heat the house when you’re not there.  And when your family is all snug in their beds at night, the thermostat should also be lowered. This could result in up to $180 a year in savings.

Lower the temperature on your water heater.

Set your tank to 120 degrees, which is 20 degrees lower than most water tank heaters are originally set at.  Doing so could save between 6 and 10 percent on your annual water heating costs, which is typically 14 to 18 percent of a home’s utility expenses. This could result in $18 to $39 a year in savings.  You can also wrap an older water heater and hot water pipes in insulating material to save on more heat loss.

Replace your light bulbs.

Replace your light bulbs to save energy

With the traditional 40-watt to 100-watt light bulbs being phased out, it’s time to replace those bulbs with LED bulbs. Oh sure, they are still more expensive but they do last longer.  By just replacing five of the bulbs most frequently used at home with Energy Star-rated models, you can save up to $75 a year.

5 more things you can do today:

  • Scrape the food from dishes, rather than washing them off, before loading them in the dishwasher.
  • Use a power strip as a central turn-off point for all electronics, video games, and computers when not in use.
  • Turn off your lights when leaving a room.
  • Unplug battery chargers or power adapters when cell phones or electronic equipment are fully charged or disconnected from the charger.
  • Enable power-saving features on your home computer and monitor.

Looking for yet another way to join the global conservation effort? For customers of Ocala Utility Services, you can check out the “Beat the Peak” voluntary energy conservation program. This program encourages limited energy usage, especially during peak times, which is 7-10 a.m. and 7-10 p.m. during winter months.  This can help reduce the total wholesale power costs. Such savings are then, by law, passed onto the customers. Check out the website for today’s level of conservation as well as more tips for reducing energy during peak times. Look for the yellow, red or green light bulb, which indicate the level of conservation you should be doing on any given day.

What other energy saving tips do you recommend? Have you seen the savings from following these suggestions?

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Boutwell Contracting & Development strives to become the premier source for home building and home remodeling in Ocala, The Villages and the North Central Florida area. As a general contractor, Boutwell specializes in residential and commercial building, remodeling, home additions, land development, real estate, and barn and horse arena construction.

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