Energy Efficient Upgrades Save Money on Monthly Bills


As much as half of the average homeowner’s monthly utility expenses go toward cooling and heating, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). For many households, that makes energy the largest home-related expense each month, next to a mortgage payment.

Fortunately, numerous technological advances are making it easier than ever to manage home energy use.

Smart thermostats and electricity monitoring

Simply turning your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer or down a few degrees in the winter when you are not at home can result in big savings on your electric bill each month. If you find it hard to remember to do this, maybe it’s time to install a programmable thermostat that never forgets to adjust on a busy morning and kicks back on before you arrive home.

Programmable thermostats that can be controlled remotely by internet-connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are one way many homeowners are saving money on energy bills. Some models can also monitor your energy usage and system efficiency, providing data to help you make further adjustments to how you operate your HVAC system.

Of course, you don’t have to have a smart thermostat to check your daily electricity usage. If you are a Carroll EMC customer, you can sign up for alerts through the Carroll EMC Member Portal. Once you’ve logged in, you can choose the “My Usage” tab to check your usage history. Just like a gas gauge in your car, My Usage tracks the amount of electricity you use each day.

Georgia Power offers a similar service, “My Power Usage.” Customers can sign up to get a daily update of how much electricity they’ve used and project the amount of their monthly bill before it arrives.

Efficient lighting
Lighting is another major energy challenge in the home these days. Smart light bulbs let you adjust your home’s ambiance (and energy usage) with just a couple of quick taps. Paired with motion sensors that detect movement (or a lack thereof) and adjust lighting accordingly, smart bulbs can help reduce the waste of energy caused by lighting unused rooms.

Of course, buying light bulbs is a little more challenging than it used to be. With so many options, it’s best to plan ahead for bulb shopping. If you are replacing an LED or halogen bulb, take the blown bulb with you to the store. If you’re replacing an older incandescent bulb or even a compact fluorescent (CFL), try to determine if the color temperature in the room has been daylight, cool, or warm.

CFLs and LEDs used to primarily emit a cool light, but that’s no longer true. Now you can buy warm LEDs in a range of base sizes and shapes. Plus, these bulbs use very little energy and last longer than incandescents. For a quick tutorial on buying lightbulbs, check out this video from CNET that explains the differences between bulbs. Another great resource is the Consumer Reports buying guide.

Zoned Climate Control
If you’re like most homeowners, there are parts of your house that simply don’t get much use or only get used during certain times of the day. Maintaining the temperature in those uninhabited areas can be costly and wasteful. As an alternative, an option such as zoned climate control allows you to stay comfortable in the rooms you use without spending a fortune on energy bills.

While a zoned system is generally considered a premium home feature, it isn’t unattainable and actually offers long-term savings, due to its energy-efficient operation. The home is divided into zones, designated by floors, rooms or areas – however the homeowner chooses – which eliminates the “all on” feature of traditional air conditioners.

Rebates
If you own a business, Georgia Power offers some rebates for energy-efficient updates in existing and new commercial construction. Detailed information about incentives for installing energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, roofs, and other equipment are available at https://www.georgiapowerrebates.com/commercial/.

Duffey Realty is pleased to bring you these and other tips for staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer all while saving as much energy as possible. Check out this blog post to see how “Living an eco-friendly lifestyle starts at home.” And it’s not too early to start thinking about trees can both increase your property value and decrease your home’s energy usage. Read more at “‘Right Plant, Right Place’ Equals Healthy Trees & Healthier Property Values.”

Got more tips? Share them in the comments section of our Facebook page. And as always, Duffey Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs. Call one of our REALTORs today and see how The Company with the Personal Touch can help you buy or sell your home.

Sources: Family Features
Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating