This holiday season, the average family will spend more than $800 on gifts alone – that doesn’t even include holiday meals! To save money in 2012, start with your house. Each year, the typical American family will spend $2,000 on home energy bills. A whopping 5% to 30% of that is wasted, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are a few easy steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption.
1) Reverse your fans. Many ceiling units come with a switch to reverse the directions of the blades. Switching your blades to clockwise will help circulate warm air pooled near the ceiling back into the living space. This small change can cut your heating cost as much as 10%!
2) Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees F. Water heaters are usually unnecessarily set to 140 degrees F by installers. Lowering the temperature would reduce your water heating costs by 6% to 10%, and you won’t even notice the change!
3) Don’t forget to turn down your heat when you leave your house. For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you'll save between 1% and 3% of your heating bill. If you’re the forgetful type, consider investing in a programmable thermostat; they are widely available for as little as $50, and the average family can save $180 per year.
4) Finally, channel Sherlock Holmes and seek out areas in your house to find where energy is wasted due to drafts. According to the US Department of Energy, 11% of a home’s heat loss is through doors and windows. Seek out and eliminate them with a rolled up towel or a draft snake. Here are the details: Stay Warm and Stay Safe with Door Draft Stoppers.