Energy costs can be a considerable for many. Saving money on energy costs allows you to put that money to use for other things, save for a rainy day, or invest.
Upgrade Your System
While arguably the most expensive, the age and condition of your home heating system could be costing you thousands of dollars a year in wasted energy. If your heating system is long past its prime, replacing it with a newer, more efficient system, could pay for itself. Technology has come a long way in just the past few years and the efficiency of newer systems is far better. You may want to weigh the cost of changing systems altogether. Oil furnaces, versus heat pumps, etc. Changing the type of heat you have may be more cost efficient depending where your home is located.
Other heating alternatives include wood stoves and pellet stoves. While more manual labor is required to operate and service the latter, the savings may outweigh those disadvantages. In our are a ton of wood pellets runs approx $225/ton. Most of the time you can heat a moderate sized home for under two tons/year. The amount you will need will vary depending on your location. A local dealer or installer can give you more information.
Weather-proof your home
Installing weather proofing strips around doors and windows to keep the heat in and cold out can result in substantial savings in older homes. Insulate your basement or crawl spaces under your house and insulation in your attic. In an older home, the insulation could have deteriorated over time or have settled in your walls, resulting in poor performance.
Replace old doors and windows
Windows tend to be a huge loss of heat many don’t evaluate. In older homes the windows used years ago may look nice and be in good shape but the amount of heat that passes through them can be substantial. Newer windows are made with energy efficiency in the design process.
Control Your Thermostat
You can save on heating costs simply by putting on a sweatshirt while sitting around. Use a blanket to feel more comfortable while watching TV instead of turning that thermostat up.
Keep thermostats lower during the day when no one is home and in the evening when everyone’s snuggled in bed. Newer thermostats have come a long way and many can be set to raise and lower the target temps at various times of day (higher temps as your waking up or before you get home from work).
Consider Solar or Wind Applications
While most of us think of large solar panel installations or huge wind farms are used in larger commercial operations, the potential exists for your home as well. You can purchase small windmills or rooftop solar panels that are designed with the home owner in mind. Depending on the amount of energy you use daily you may or may not be able to replace all your energy needs but you certainly can put a dent in your electric bill at the end of the month. A lot of the time you can even sell extra energy your system produces back to the grid (electric company).
Be sure to have a professional check to determine the right size system you need for your home before you settle on one type or another. Also check with your local authorities in regards to local laws and ordinances regarding installations before you spend any money.