6 Tips to Trim Your Utility Bills
Your utility bills represent a major expense in your Clearwater, Florida, home. If you’re spending an exorbitant sum every month just to run your appliances and keep the home comfortable, you may need to do a quick energy assessment to see where you can save. Small tasks like updating your roofing and insulating the home will have a big impact on your energy bills.
Insulate the Home
Insulation helps your home retain heating and cooling. If your house lacks insulation, air can easily slip through the cracks — along with your funds. Start with your attic. Heat rises, so a poorly insulated attic will lead to a chilly winter home. The Florida Building Code recommends insulation with a minimum rating of R-38 for homes in the Clearwater area. Insulating the attic is easy, because homeowners typically have direct access to the area. Simply lay down fresh batts of insulation in the ceiling and watch your utility bills drop.
Insulating outlets and light switches will help prevent air leaks as well. This is particularly important for exterior walls. Visit your local hardware store and pick up electrical outlet and wall plate seals. These are specifically designed for areas with electricity, and offer a safe, secure seal.
Dry Your Clothes Naturally
Reduce your reliance on the clothes dryer by setting up alternative systems for drying your clothing. A clothesline outside is an easy way to air-dry clothing, particularly on warm sunny days. You can dry your clothing inside with a handy drying rack. Even if you don’t air-dry all your clothing, keeping just a few items out of the dryer will have a positive impact on your utility bills.
Take Care of Regular Home Maintenance
Your home appliances use a significant amount of energy in the best circumstances. Leave them untended and they’ll suck up far more electricity than necessary. There are several maintenance tasks that you can do yourself to keep your appliances in top condition.
- Change your HVAC filters quarterly
- Check the seal on your oven door and replace as needed
- Clean your refrigerator coils
- Clear lint from your dryer exhaust
- Wash the grease filter in your range hood
You should also schedule professional maintenance on a regular basis. Your HVAC system needs a regular tune-up once a year. During this maintenance visit, our technicians will thoroughly clean and inspect the unit, making critical adjustments such as tightening electrical connections and lubricating moving parts for more efficient performance.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat will give you more control over your home’s temperature so you can slash your energy expenses easily. Some smart thermostats will even evaluate your heating and cooling trends and offer suggestions for saving money. Start by turning back the thermostat a few degrees at all times. Set it back further during periods where you’re away from home or asleep. With a programmable thermostat, you can set up these daily adjustments once for long-term savings.
Update Your Roof
Adding a white elastomeric coating to your roof will reduce energy use dramatically. Dark colors absorb more heat, while light ones stay cooler. You can reduce energy use further by opting for a reflective roof rather than a flat white one. Reflective roof materials turn the sun’s energy away from the home for the most efficient solution yet. A cool roof will have a dramatic impact on both your home and the surrounding area. Cool roofs can decrease urban air temperatures and slow down the formation of ozone at ground level.
Seal Your Ducts
Your ducts are responsible for heating and cooling losses of as much as 20 percent. You can’t see your ductwork in most of the home, so you may not know what shape it’s in. Most homes have numerous leaks that let air escape. Having your ductwork professionally sealed and insulated will put an end to energy losses in your ceiling.
If you need help cutting back on your energy expenses, contact Pinellas Comfort Systems at (727) 315-0791. We’ll help you keep your system well-maintained and energy efficient so your utility bills stay low.
Image provided by Shutterstock
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