Tips for Saving Money!
Are you getting every penny's worth for your Buckeye REC electric bill?
In many cases, high electric bills are caused by home construction/materials problems and inefficient use of electric appliances, especially heating/air conditioning systems. Here are a few tips for reducing your electric bill by conserving the amount of energy needed to make your home comfortable.
Insulation — One of the best investments in SE Ohio is insulation. Floor, wall and attic insulation keeps living spaces comfortable while reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain the thermostat setting. Insulation is available in rolls, sheets, or it can be blown into walls or attics. Don't forget to insulate under floors, around ductwork, water heaters, and plumbing. Also, vapor barriers need to be installed under houses.
Caulking — Modern caulking material is very easy to apply and cheap to purchase, yet caulking pays real benefits by eliminating points at which heat can escape or outside air can infiltrate a residence. Always cauk around door frames and windows, or wherever there are joints and angles on the outside of the home. Even a slight crack can allow dollars' worth of energy to be wasted. Caulking should be reapplied whenever it appears to be deteriorating due to age or exposure to the elements. It's a good idea to re-cauk every couple of years. Another good idea is to reseal/re-glaze window panes that might have become loose.
Windows/Doors — When building a new home or remodeling, always choose windows and doors that provide the least heat transfer. Advanced materials incorporated in the construction process and proper installation can add up to savings. Ask your contractor or building materials store for advice about energy efficient windows and doors. The addition of storm windows and doors can increase savings by further eliminating heat transfer and air infiltration. If you can't afford new storm windows, go to a hardware store and purchase plastic sheeting with which to cover window openings. Make sure door thresholds are equipped with rubber or fiber "sweeps" to block the passage of air from underneath. Mobile homes should always be underpinned.
Ventilation — Adequate roof and foundation ventilation is important, too. Consult a contractor for recommendations about venting your home.
Water Heaters — Water heaters should be inspected regularly. A leaky water heater can produce high electric bills because the heating element has to work harder to maintain the temperature setting. Some water heaters are equipped with dual elements. if one fails, the other must take up the slack and uses more energy. It's a good idea to wrap your water heater and pipes with insulation, especially if it is located in an unheated area of the home. Another good idea is to set the thermostat at the lowest temperature with which you feel comfortable. It requires more energy to produce higher water temperatures. Leaky hot water faucets also cause the water heater to work harder. Buckeye REC offers a radio controlled water heater switch program. See Energy Services for more information about the rebate program and eligibility.
Ductwork — Check the ductwork of your central heat/AC system annually. Many high bill complaints result from ductwork that has broken or become unsealed at the joints, allowing heated or cooled air to escape.