Save on Your Electric Bill with Home Improvements

There are a myriad of home improvements that can be made to help save money on your electric bill. The list can range from those that are relatively inexpensive to major upgrades that will take months to years before the net effect is felt. When considering each of the home improvements discussed below, an individual homeowner should weigh the immediate cost against the longer-term impact. Also, keep in mind that many of the upgrades can be considered green updates and are also environmentally responsible repairs.

Straightforward Upgrades

Starting with one of the easiest and least expensive changes that one can make at home to save on one’s electric bill, the effect of replacing standard light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs can be significant. These bulbs cost more than standard bulbs, but they last longer and consume dramatically less energy. Within the lifetime of a single high-efficiency bulb, a homeowner can realize save money with both the cost of electricity and light bulbs.

Another relatively simple, but important upgrade that a homeowner can make to save on electric bills is to upgrade his or her main thermostat. Newer digital thermostats that are used to control the functioning of a home’s furnace function very differently from older models. Where thermostats used to wait for the room temperature to fall by several degrees and then cycle on the furnace for an extended period, new digital thermostats monitor the temperature to with tenths of a degree. With these devices, when the temperature falls slightly, the furnace will be cycled on for a few minutes. The result is that while the furnace cycles on more frequently, the shorter bursts turn out to be more efficient. Furthermore, an added benefit is that room temperature is held more constant. A new thermostat can be very affordable (many energy companies are offering to make these upgrades for homeowners) and will have an immediate impact on one’s electric bill.

Another very simple way to save on electric bills is to add timers to some of the lights in your house. While this seems obvious, and in some cases wasteful, some estimates made by Commonwealth Edison in Chicago suggest that lights left on by accident or for security purposes account for 25% of wasted electric energy. This simple measure can help to drastically reduce electricity costs. Upgrading to energy-star appliances will have an impact as well.

Major Upgrades

Finally, a major upgrade that can have a dramatic affect on your electric bills is to replace old windows with new, energy-saving ones. This is a major investment that may take months or years to be offset by the energy savings, but, when considered in conjunction with the corresponding increase in home value that is usually associated with this type of home improvement, it is an improvement worth making.

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