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Smart Home Money-Saving Energy Tips

We all like to save money when and where possible. It's why we plan and budget spending to maximize savings, investments, and to enjoy various activities. But there are more steps homeowners can take to save every month. It's not often we think about energy efficiency, that is, until we are able to open the windows and give the air conditioner a much-needed break. The fact of the matter is, energy hogs live in your house. But, you don't have to pay for their rent free lifestyle if you know some smart home money-saving energy tips.

Biggest Home Energy Wasters

A few years ago, the Digital Power Group grabbed headlines when it asserted a smartphone uses more energy than a medium-sized, Energy Star refrigerator. Combining battery charging, with data use, and WiFi connectivity, the company claimed this rivals a refrigerator in energy use. Of course, that's a big contention but these pocket-sized technological wonders do consume a lot of energy.

An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments to make your home more efficient, you’ll see lower energy bills. Over time, those savings will typically pay for the cost of improvements and put money back in your pocket. Your home may also be more attractive to buyers when you sell. --US Department of Energy

Much the same are microwaves, always on standby, ready-to-go at a moment's notice. It's not just the clock eating away tiny energy fragments, but the whole appliance burns up to 35 kilowatt-hours. Sometimes referred to as "vampire power," a microwave and other devices continually draw power. In fact, an Appliance Standards Awareness Project study revealed the average microwave use amounts to just 70 hours annually. The remaining but hefty 8,960 hours, it consumes power in standby mode. Game consoles and pool pumps are two more notorious energy wasters, the latter using seven times more energy than a refrigerator.

Smart Home Money-Saving Energy Tips

If you are considering selling your home, this information might tempt you to clear it out and move onto your next house. But that's a mistake because empty homes are much more difficult to sell. Even if you aren't planning on selling or buying a home soon, you should know how about the following smart home money-saving energy tips:

  • Update your home's insulation. Today's insulation materials are more effective than years past. You probably haven't been in your attic space since last year, when you retrieved a few holiday decorations. But it's worthwhile to know about the insulation condition and if it's time to replace it for better performance.

  • Plug any window and door air leaks. Door and window weather-stripping isn't exactly exciting, but there's a lot of waste that goes right through these air leaks. Another step to take is to replace your windows, with energy-efficient ones. It will not only save you money, it will also make your home more comfortable.

  • Set the water heater temperature. One energy wasting culprit is the water heater. When set to 140 degrees or higher, this otherwise helpful appliance can waste $46 to $71 a year in standby losses, plus more than $400 to heat fresh water, per year, according to the EPA. Set it to 120 degrees and start saving while also avoiding scalding.

  • Install a programmable thermostat. If you have one of those old analogue dial thermostats, you're wasting money. These contain a bimetallic strip of two dissimilar metals which are affected by the coefficient of thermal expansion. Translation: they use antiquated technology and are quite imprecise. Install a programmable thermostat and save up to $150 annually.

  • Upgrade your home appliances. Those outdated appliances are not only eyesores, they also waste a whole lot of energy. New Energy Star appliances will look great and provide you with more efficient use, saving you money month after month.

  • Change your air filters regularly. Your central heating and air system is heavily dependent on clean airflow to keep it running at its most efficient. Be sure to change your air filters regularly so the system isn't bogged down by debris.

  • Schedule a home energy audit. To learn about where your house is costing you the most energy loss, schedule a home energy audit. You'll likely discover one or more surprises and be able to make other smart changes for improved efficiency.

If you are considering improving your home to sell, whether it's nearby South Tamiami Trail, on Siesta Key, Lido Key, by TPC Prestancia, or elsewhere in Sarasota, just phone 941-363-1507 to learn more about the local market.