Take Time to Cut Your Energy Costs

January 09, 2012

Do you try to save energy in your Chicago real estate? Maybe you’ll try harder now that your ComEd bill is going up.

Why not make it a New Year’s Resolution to take more steps to cut energy consumption and costs in your home? You can start on January 10, which is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day.

There are many small steps you can take to make a big difference in your home.

girl brushing her teeth in a bathroom

Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth to save energy.

Here are some ideas on how to get started:

*Even when you turn off your electronics, they are running on phantom energy. Plug your computer, TV and other home electronics into power strips and then turn off the switch when those items are not in use. If you don’t use a power strip, unplug your electronics and appliances when not in use.

*If you haven’t switched out your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones by now, you should. CFLs may cost more initially, but they last up to 10 times longer than the old bulbs and use 75 percent less energy.

*When you aren’t using your computer, set it on sleep mode rather than screen saver. It takes about 100 watts per hour to run a screen saver: Let your screen go black to cut energy costs.

*Lower your thermostat at night and when you are away from the house. For every degree you go down, you’ll save 3 to 5 percent on heating costs. Crank it up during summer months. Get a programmable thermostat and put your home on an automatic schedule.

*Lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120°F will not only save you in energy costs, but it will help your unit work better and last longer. Be sure you have a clean filter on your furnace as well.

*Caulk and weatherstrip around windows and doors that are allowing air to permeate your home. Plus, adding insulation to your home, especially in the attic, basement, crawl space and around ducts, is relatively inexpensively and highly effective in cutting energy costs.

Want more suggestions? Check out the Home Energy Saver, a do-it-yourself home energy audit tool where you can find out how to save 20 percent or more on your energy bills through small changes in your home.

Categories: Energy Efficient

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