At Boise Home Inspections we like the idea of saving money and leaving our environment better than the way we found it. So here’s some great ideas on how your family can instantly make an impact in both of these areas.
- Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Savings: Up to $35 per bulb over the lifetime of the bulb
Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is one of the quickest, easiest ways to save money. And when your CFLs are no longer useable, recycle them at multiple locations. To find a location near you, visit lamprecycle.org.
- Buy Energy Star Appliances
Savings: $35 to $600 a year
The average household spends $2,000 a year on energy bills. Energy Star states that appliances bearing its label can cut those bills by 30%. Just replacing an eight-year-old refrigerator with a new Energy Star model can save $110 a year or more in electricity. Furthermore, Idaho Power (www.idahopower.com/save) will give your $30 for your old refrigerator.
- Service your Air Conditioner
Savings: Up to $100 a year
Roughly half of an average home’s annual energy bill, about $1000 is spent on heating and cooling. If your air conditioner sits in direct sunlight, it can use up to 10 percent more energy. If so, plant tall shrubs or shade trees nearby without impeding the air flow. Every two or three years, call in a pro to tune it up so it runs at peak efficiency.If your unit is more than 12 years old, replace it with an Energy Star model can cut your cooling costs by 30 percent.
- Change Filter
Savings: Up to $60 a year
Two benefits – It makes the furnace run efficiently and prolongs the furnace’s life span. The filter protects the blower and it’s motor; a clogged filter makes the motor work harder and use more power.Recommended replacing your filter ever 4 months or as necessary, depending on the home owner’s usage.
- Water Heating Timer
Saving: Up to $25 a year
Instead of heating your water 24/7, installing an electric timer switch can be programmed for daily or weekly schedules so only heat the water when you need it.
- Clean Lint from the Dryer Vent
Savings: Up to $25 a year
Electric dryers use about $85 of electricity a year. A dirty lint screen can cause the dryer to use up to 30 percent more electricity ($25 per year), according to the Consumer Energy Center. In addition, lint is a common cause of fires.
- Refrigerator Maintenance
Saving: Up to $60 a year
Your refrigerator uses more electricity than all your other kitchen appliances combined. Cleaning the coils twice a year, improves efficiency by 30 to 50 percent. If your fridge was made before 2001, it’s using at least 40 percent more electricity than new Energy Star models.
Fridge settings– 35 to 38 degrees
Freezer settings– 0 to 5 degrees F