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Are your Energy Bills too High?

Updated Monday, April 23, 2012  ::  Views (5769)

In light of Earth Day Yesturday April 22, 2012 & Just receiving one of the lowest Energy Bills I have personally ever gotten for the months of January- March....I though I would write about this all too common problem with home owners. Especially when financial times are tough & prices keep climbing higher & higher with electricity.

So who is to blame? Is your home an Energy Hog? Or are you, the home owner the Hog? I see alot of home owners utility bills & I've come to realize its sometimes a mixture of both. But alot of the times its simply home owners not taking the time or effort to adjust their energy consumption.

FIRST... gather your utility bills (Bluewater Power - Sarnia) from the last year & have a look. MOST home owners don't go over these in detail. Look at your AVERAGE DAILY USAGE. I see home owners making a huge effort with a Low 10-25 kWh per day, all the way to home owners making no effort with numbers as high as 50-65 kWh per day. See what your doing month to month. And you maybe shocked !

How do you know if your home is wasting valuable resources on a regular basis? 1. Conduct an Energy Audit (These are still being offered with good rebates from the government, email me for details & contact info) or 2. Conduct an little Inspection yourself. Of course this will not be as detailed & you will not have sophisticated equipment such as blower doors, infrared cameras & surface thermometers but for a quick light fix, a personal inspection can make a slight difference in your energy bills.

Give it a Checkup: 1. Assess Insulation Levels in the attic, walls & ceilings & any crawl spaces. 2. Look for cracks or openings around windows, doors, fixtures, & any other places that can leak air in & out of your home.  3. Make sure all appliances & Heating/Cooling Systems work well. And are maintained according to the manufactures' recommendations.

TOP 7 ENERGY-SAVING HOME IMPROVEMENTS    $$$$ - Big Ticket   $ - Less Pricey

1. Windows & Doors $$$$ - Can cut heating & cooling costs 7-12%. Can't replace them right now. Get out that cocking guns & go around every seal at every window & door in your home. It costs next to nothing...just time.

2. Insulation  $$ - Installing extra insulation in your attic is easy & inexpensive. Adding insulation in your basement &/or lower levels on the unfinished ceilings & exterior walls is also very inexpensive.  The most expensive $$$$- Being insulation in all your exterior walls. Something that is being done in all brand new homes. Insulation can actually save you more than replacing windows & doors, depending on a few factors.

3. Water Heater  $$$$ if owned / $ if rented - Replacing units with energy star models saves an average of $80 per year. Call your rental company if you suspect you have an old unit...its completely FREE if you qualify & you can request a larger tank if needed at the same time. Also,Turn Down your water heater! It doesn't need to be cranked up to the maximum everyday. AND when your on vacation or gone for a weekend. Turn them OFF or super low. Its costing you money!

4. Heating/Cooling $$$$- New Energy Star Units are much more efficient than older units. It maybe worth replacing if your current one is more than 20 years old. Can't afford to do it now? Replacing &/or cleaning your air filter regularly could lower your bills by 5%.  You can also install a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temp while your away at work & at night. Or just do it manually! That could save you 15%-20% a year.

5. Appliances $$$- Replacing washers, refrigerators & dishwashers is quick & easy but can be costly depending if your going low or high end. But the good news is Energy Star & Energy Efficient are on the low end of the price point. $ - Unplug small appliances that don't need to be sucking energy 24/7 a day. Thats right...your coffee maker, toaster, ect is sucking power even when not in use! Unplug them!

6. Lighting $ - Very inexpensive, replace all your light fixtures in the house with energy star qualified fixtures. Shut off lights when you are NOT in the room! And absolutely do not leave them on throughout the day while your at work. Yes people do this!

7. Energy Power Bars $ -  These are super cheap & a great way to power down things that are not required to be on 24/hrs a day. Your TV & computer doesn't need to be sucking power all day, everyday.

These are just some of many things you can & should be doing to not only your energy consumption for the good of our planet but for your Wallet !   Google ways to cut your energy bills in Canada, do some research & MAKE AN DAILY EFFORT !


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