3 Quick and Easy Ways to Lower your Spring and Summer Energy Bill
1)Upgrade the insulation in your attic: Many of the homes in Wichita are over 50+ years old. Due to the age of the homes, many have insufficient insulation. In Sedgwick County energy star recommends a home’s attic have an R-value of R38 to R60; this equates to between 10.25 inches to 16.25 inches of cellulose insulation. Many of the homes I see in Wichita have around 2 inches. You can drastically improve the energy efficiency of your home in both summer and winter by re-insulating your attic. You can get free quotes for any of the heating and cooling companies in the Wichita area, or you could make it a DIY project with many how-to videos provided online. Make sure, however, you DO NOT cover the ventilation holes in your attic; these are what allow your home to “breath”, failure to do this could cause condensation to form in your attic and make it a haven for mold (mold is a health hazard and very expensive to remediate).
2) Close your blinds during the heat of the day: Most people don’t have the money to purchase brand new energy efficient windows, but it is unnecessary to do so if you just shut the blinds or shades. In fact, there are solar window shades that were developed for this exact purpose and can be picked up at any Home Depot, Lowe’s or similar specialty stores here in Wichita.
3)Super Cheap (or free) DIY projects: There are quite a few little projects you could do which added up will help you to significantly lower your bill.
•Hang your laundry outside instead of using your dryer.
•Replace your traditional light bulbs with long-lasting or LED light bulbs. These can be purchased for Wal-Mart and last up to 20x longer saving you on replacement price as well as energy.
•Replace your air filter – this can be done at least quarterly (more so if you have pets). It will lower your bill as well as make your HVAC system last longer.
•Close doors – the more openings available in your home the faster the cool is allowed to escape your home.
•Unplug unused appliances – when an appliance is plugged in and not used, it is actually using a small amount of power. Since the average home has more than 20 various unused appliances plugged in at a time, these small costs can add up!
Best of luck staying cool this upcoming spring and summer months and I hope you are able to implement some of these tips to lower your energy bill and pocket some extra money!