It’s that time of year! Energy bills are starting to creep up, just in time for holiday shopping. Paying more for energy is not something that we do. In fact, I went to my online compare my bill to those around me when paying my bill this month. We are at the bottom of the chart. Here is how:
1. Our furnace is super efficient. We have a 99% efficient furnace. Before moving in, all the HVAC had to be replaced in the house. It no longer even turned on. Instead of going builder grade, we opted to spend a little more on the Bryant Evolution System. The furnace is super efficient and is made to work in houses like ours, old and holey. The extra expense for the furnace will pay for itself within the first 5 years.
2. The thermostat is kept low. We keep it at 62 during the day and 56 at night on a schedule. I know that sounds crazy to most people, but it’s not as bad as you might think. We tried going down to 60 during the day (we both work from home) and that was too low. To keep warm, we have extra blankets on the bed and during the day an extra sweater.
3. All the appliances are energy star and not super sized. In addition to the HVAC system, all new appliances had to be purchased as well. We stuck to the basics–washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, oven (yet to be installed), and microhood. The refrigerator is a basic model. No water, french doors, or 10,000 cubic feet. It is now considered on the lower end of sizes, but it meets our needs. It also helps keep the energy bills down by not having extra space that needs to be chilled. Eventually, we may splurge on a larger one when we remodel so I cook once a month and have freezer space, but for now this helps keep the bills low.
4. We re-insulated the attic with R50 insulation. The attic was not properly insulated and air sealed before this fall. We also did some air sealing ourselves in the basement to prevent air leaks and energy leaving the house.
|Total Electricity Gas|
|Congratulations! Your home used less energy than most of the similar homes in your area.|
Here are some things we haven’t done yet that will help lower our bill even further:
1. Window treatments on all of the windows. Right now only the living room has any. Adding window treatments will help keep the warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
2. Move the vents from the baseboard to the floor. This will help so all the warm or cold air does not blow right up and out the window.
3. Reside the house and add house wrap. Next year, we are hoping to replace the siding and add Tyvek to the house. This will help keep more cold air out in the winter.
4. Replace windows. Next year with side hustle and savings, we would also like to replace as many windows and doors to cut down on energy loss through old windows. Some are higher on the list than others. So it does get to be diminishing returns.
Are you changing anything this winter to save on energy bills?