How to Save Money on Your Energy Bill

Regardless of the season, saving money on the energy bill is an aspiration every homeowner has. But understanding how to get started, where those inefficiencies are coming from, and which areas of your home need the most improvement is no small task.

That’s where we come into play. Here at Able Home Performance, we’re committed to helping homeowners understand their energy usage better by providing home energy assessments. Commonly referred to as home energy audits, these assessments measure current energy consumption inside the house to offer homeowners invaluable energy-saving advice. In turn, the suggested lifestyle changes and home upgrades can help homeowners everywhere lower their energy bill significantly. 

During a home energy assessment, our professionals tour your home and run a series of tests determining your energy usage. With years of experience in the field, we are able to pinpoint areas of inefficient energy usage that could be affecting your monthly bill. So how does a home energy assessment help you save money on your electricity bill?

Drafty Windows

One of the most common contributors to inefficient energy usage is leaky windows. We all like to open the windows during the summertime to allow a nice cross breeze through the home, and while that can be beneficial in short spurts of time, most of us realize that leaving the windows open all day long simply allows cool, air-conditioned air to leave the house.

If your windows are outdated, having them closed can be similar to leaving your windows open, because of the amount of cold air that is allowed to continually escape. Likewise, heating costs in the winter will skyrocket as warm air slips through improperly sealed windows. In both situations, the furnace, boiler, air conditioner, or other heating or cooling device is forced to work extra hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.

During a home energy assessment, auditors will inspect windows throughout the home to see just how much air is escaping and recommend the best upgrades. 

Inadequate Insulation

Just as air can escape through leaky windows, it can also leave your house through inadequate insulation. Whether your home was built with outdated insulation or parts of your home were updated without it, insulation upgrades in common leaky areas in your home can have massive impacts on energy consumption, including:

  • Attic Insulation — One of the most common places to update insulation in the home is the attic. Not only is this often an area where warm air leaves the house, it’s also easily accessible and relatively simple to add insulation as most attics are unfinished. Plus, multiple types of insulation can be used in the attic, offering you plenty of options to choose from.
  • Basement Insulation — Yes, warm air rises, but that doesn’t mean that the attic is the only place warm air can escape your home. An inadequately sealed basement is another problem area where up to 30% of energy loss can occur. Basement insulation is especially useful for those using the area as an indoor living space rather than unfinished basements, which are insulated in a fashion similar to a crawl space.
  • Main Floor Insulation — Air can escape from everywhere, even the areas you might think are insulated properly. Adding insulation to each floor in the house is a cost-effective insulation solution that can be incredibly beneficial in the long term.

Home energy auditors will investigate areas of the home using thermal sensing to discover warm and cool spots in the attic, walls, and basement. In turn, they can provide recommendations on which insulation to choose for certain areas of the home.

Inefficient Appliances

From old washing machines and outdated furnaces to inefficient dishwashers and costly AC units, your appliances could be impacting your home energy usage much more than you realize. Sure, it might be encouraging that your 15-year-old washing machine is still getting the job done, but have you thought about the impact that it has on monthly water consumption?

Technological advancements have made older appliances more and more costly to run. While the upfront cost of a new washing machine or dishwasher may seem like a heavy blow at the time, think of it more as a long-term investment. Before you know it, your average energy savings will outweigh that initial investment.

When you schedule a home energy assessment, auditors can help you discover just how much money you can save by switching to an energy-efficient model. Keep in mind that you may be eligible for rebates on many gas appliances — including boilers and furnaces — when you switch to high-efficiency models. A home energy assessment will help you determine that and much more.

Instant Savings

The main goal of a home energy assessment is to identify and make suggestions for long-term fixes to energy efficiency, including the areas listed above. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from immediate savings, as well!

During many home energy assessments, including those conducted by Able Home Performance, the professional auditor will help you save money before leaving your house. From unlimited replacement of incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs to installation of high-pressure water savings devices in shower heads and faucets, these easy upgrades can help you save instantly.

Energy-Saving Tactics

Our goal is to provide lasting energy-saving solutions throughout your home using home energy assessments. That said, there are things you can easily do without the help of our professionals that lead to savings in the here and now. Follow some of these steps to begin saving money on your next energy bill.

Utilize Windows

During warmer months, one of the best ways to cut down on energy consumption is utilizing what’s already in your home. Strategically opening your windows to create cross-breezes throughout your home has plenty of benefits. This allows you to keep your house cool and comfortable without turning on the air conditioner, and it also lends a bit of fresh air to homes when they get stuffy from summer heat. Windows also make it easy to utilize the sun to your advantage. Use natural light to limit the use of lamps and other lights throughout the day, and keep your blinds open during colder days to allow natural sunlight to add some heat to your home.

Use Smart Power Strips

Did you know that some of the most commonly used electronics in your home have a standby mode? TVs, washing machines, gaming consoles — they’re all consuming energy even if they’re not being used. “Phantom loads” of electricity account for a massive percentage of the power used in a household. Smart power strips help solve the problem by allowing you to actually turn off the devices rather than have them sit in standby mode. They can be programmed to turn off during certain hours of the day or after a certain amount of inactivity. 

Install Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Even if you utilize natural light to its full potential, there comes a time during the day when other forms of lighting are a must. Don’t settle for incandescent light bulbs that burn through electricity and have a relatively short lifespan. Energy-efficient LED light bulbs are a quick, easy way to consume less energy throughout your house as they use up to 80% less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs while lasting up to 25 times longer.

Service Your HVAC Unit

You don’t need to call in a professional every time you want to service your HVAC unit. In fact, routine checks and replacements of filters will actually go a long way in ensuring you don’t have major problems on your hands. One of the easiest ways to maintain your HVAC unit is routinely replacing the filter. Whether it be air conditioners, furnaces, or another HVAC unit, replacing the filter lowers energy consumption by as much as 15% while allowing it to function at its full capacity.

Reduce Water Heating Expenses

The energy it takes to heat the water that you use on a regular basis oftentimes has a large impact on your energy consumption as a whole. Most things you use water for in your home — showering, dishwashing, handwashing, etc. — tend to use hot water. The more you use these appliances, the more the water has to be heated. You can also reduce the overall expense of heating water by lowering the thermostat on your water heater to a cooler temperature. Most households never use the hottest water possible, so spending money to heat it to that temperature is a waste.

Adjust Habits

Your home can only be as energy efficient as you make it, and one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption is simply taking a look in the mirror! We tend to use an excessive amount of energy on a daily basis, and there are some easy ways to lessen your household consumption. Rather than spend a lengthy amount of time taking hot showers, consider taking quicker showers with cooler water. Not only will this lower your energy usage, it can also lead to some secondary benefits for your skin and muscles. Also, try washing the dishes by hand more often than dishwasher, and make sure to turn the sink off while scrubbing. There are countless habits you can easily adjust in your daily life to consume less energy.

Schedule a Home Energy Assessment

Using these energy-saving tactics is a great way to begin saving money on your electricity bill, and we’re ready to take your savings to the next level. At Able Home Performance, our energy experts are ready to help residents throughout Massachusetts’s South Shore save money with home energy assessments. During these appointments, we can help point out areas of inefficient energy usage, recommend upgrades to insulation and electrical appliances, and install instant savings upgrades throughout your home to improve your energy efficiency now and later.

Are you ready to begin saving money on your energy bill? Call Able Home Performance today to schedule your no-cost home energy assessment!