It's going to be a cold week here in Cincinnati, which can only mean one thing: high heating bills. (And snow!)




Guess what? You can stay warm and save money! 

We have put together a helpful guide that can help you reduce the amount of money you’re spending each month. Here are 5 tips to saving money on your home electricity bill:

1. GET AN ENERGY AUDIT DONE ON YOUR HOME

You've probably gotten energy audit notices from Duke in your mailbox, and tossed them. Don't!

An energy audit is an inspection of your home that shares with you ways to shrink your electricity bills. Typically this is done by eliminating unnecessary usage. A basic energy audit will look for air leaks (like in windows/doors), check insulation levels, light bulb wattages, furnace filters and your heating and cooling units. All of these things are designed to help shrink your bill, especially during the winter months. Most utility companies have energy auditors on their team and can typically come out to your home for free.


2. CAULK AND WEATHERSTRIP DOORS AND WINDOWS


Not only is caulking and weatherstripping the easiest and cheapest way to reduce energy bills, but it’s something that you can do yourself. By minimizing the amount of outside air that can sneak into your home through the cracks around your doors and windows, you'll allow your heating/cooling units to not work so hard. Feel windows/doorways -- can you feel cold air? If so, you need to recaulk/replace the weatherstripping.

3. ONE WORD: LED

By investing in LED (light emitting diode) bulbs and getting rid of those CFL (compact fluorescent) lights, you’ll be able to save quite a bit on lighting costs. LED bulbs use less energy than their counterparts.

When utilizing LED light-bulbs, you not only have a long-lasting light-bulb, but you save money by not having to invest in new ones as often compared to other light-bulbs on the market. In fact, Duke Energy offers free and deeply discounted energy-efficient bulbs to customers!

4. INSULATE!

It’s a good idea to ensure that there is enough insulation in your attic and exterior walls because, according to Alliance to Save Energy, doing just that can reduce your heating and cooling costs up to 30%. Like caulking, insulation can be relatively cheap and is easy to DIY. However, when it comes to the installation of insulation in the exterior walls in your home, it should be done by a professional since it’s much more complicated (and potentially dangerous) to do.

5. GET SMART

We discussed these before, but so-called "smart" appliances can actually save you lots of money. But, if nothing else, please replace that old, dial thermostat with a digital model.

According to the Department of Energy, when installing and utilizing a digital thermostat, you can save 10-15% on your heating and cooling bill annually IF you reduce the temperature in your home by 10-15% for at least eight hours a day. For example, if you normally set your heat at 70 degrees when you’re home, program the thermostat to drop to 60 degrees until an hour or so before you arrive home.

If you don’t want to be shocked when opening next month's utility bill, then try these tips to save a little more green this year!

Source: Energy.gov.

Photo Credit: Sarah McCosham.
 
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Cincinnati, OH 45242