How should I invest my money to help reduce the cost of my energy bills?

by Darwin on July 4, 2011

Image courtesy of 5 Volt

There are countless of ways you can cut dollars off your energy bills – some will require a little bit of investment, some are relatively cheap and all will have a huge impact on the cost of your energy bills. And if you want to really save, you can compare prices and find the best energy deals going.

Swap your incandescent bulbs with their compact-fluorescent counterparts. While the fluorescent bulbs are the more expensive option, they use roughly two-thirds less energy and therefore last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Some experts even claim that if you make the change to compact fluorescent bulbs for just a quarter of your most frequently-used incandescents, you can slash the amount of electricity you use on lighting by half. Similarly, don’t have your outdoor security lights on all night – replace them with motion-sensor security lights.

Get a solar-powered attic fan fitted. A poorly-ventilated/insulated attic will not only make your house much harder to heat and cool (resulting in higher energy bills), but it’ll also accelerate the deterioration of roof structures.

Heating cold water requires a lot of energy. Drain your hot water heater of any sediment and lower the temperature to 120 degrees (the temperature at which all bacteria will be safely killed off). It’s also highly recommend that you drain a pint or so of water from it every four months or so to help reduce sediment and increase efficiency.

Similarly, insulate your hot-water heater and any exposed pipes with a pre-made insulator “jacket”, which can be found at most hardware stores. Investing in this relatively inexpensive home improvement can shave up to 15 per cent off the cost of heating your water.

Installing a low-flow shower head will reduce the amount of hot water you use and therefore the cost of your energy bills. You can get a model that introduces high velocity oxygen to the water stream in order to simulate the sensation of high impact water, so you won’t even need to sacrifice those refreshing showers to help you save money.

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Heating your home accounts for the largest proportion of expenditure on your energy bill. Because it’s estimated that the average amount of gaps and cracks in the average older home are equivalent to a one-foot square hole in an outer wall, sealing any cracks or gaps with caulking and weather stripping can make a huge difference.

And finally, insulate cavity walls, ceilings and floors. Again, small gaps and cracks are well worth covering and filling to ensure that your precious warm air doesn’t escape.

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