Zap Your Energy Bill with Residential Solar Power & More
Take a look at your energy bill. Imagine if you could shave off $5 a month here, $10 there and watch the savings add up to good money. It’s not a pie-in-the-sky dream. There are plenty of ways to lower your home energy costs. From switching out your power strips to installing residential solar power, you can find changes to fit your budget and make a difference in your monthly bills.
Eliminate “Vampire Power”
When you turn off your TV, you expect it to stop using power. Unfortunately, your TV has a dark secret. From DVD players to desktop computers, majority of home electronics manufactured before 2013 siphon at least some power when they’re not in use. It’s called “vampire power,” and it can cost the average home about $100 a year.
The good new is there’s an easy fix. “Advanced power strips,” or APS, can manage vampire power for you. All you have to do is plug your home office and entertainment center equipment into one. They come in a few varieties, so it’s easy to find one that’s best suited to tackle your little vampire problem. Keep in mind that some electronics, like your cable box, rely on continuous power to stay calibrated. Those are best left plugged into standard power strips.
Are You Weatherized?
When that summer sun is blazing, you’re paying good money to keep your indoor air nice and cool. Cooled air escaping through cracks and holes is nothing short of passive robbery. You can keep that cold air in and your electric bills low by making sure your home is weatherized. You can call in a professional for an energy audit or do a quick one yourself.
Inspect the caulking around door and window frames for a good, crack-free seal. Replace it if necessary. You can also an incense stick or the smoke from a freshly extinguished match to check the seal of the doors and windows themselves. A bad seal can often be fixed with foam weatherstripping. Power outlets along exterior walls should have foam gaskets inside the switch plates.
With more Americans worried about energy consumption, everything from laptops to hot tubs are available in more energy efficient options. Every purchase you make could give you an opportunity shave a couple extra bucks off of your electric bills. In some cases, it might be worth it to upgrade old appliances even if they still work.
Appliances that are 15 to 20 years old tend to be energy hogs. This is especially true of air conditioners, water heaters and furnaces. Upgrade to EnergyStar models, which are EPA-certified to meet strict energy efficiency standards. Water heaters in particular are a lot more energy efficient these days. You can go tankless, solar or via heat pump to reduce or eliminate your heater’s reliance on conventional energy sources. For your air conditioning, install a programmable thermostat so you can ease up on the AC and save energy when no one is home.
Lightbulbs and Windows Matter
Light fixtures and windows can be two of the most consistent energy saps in households. If you haven’t switched to CFL bulbs, give them a chance. They’re more efficient than incandescents and are available more options these days. You can also check out LED lighting. In addition to being efficient, many LED systems are app-connected, fully programmable and even change colors.
Don’t overlook your windows, either. Even if they’re well-sealed, sunlight and temperature exchange right through the glass can make your AC work harder. In the middle of summer, use thermally-rated window treatments to block or reduce sunlight in your sunniest rooms. Old windows that aren’t double-paned could be worth replacing outright.
Invest in Residential Solar Power
Whether you install a mini solar panel array to power your water heater or a whole-home system with backup batteries, solar panels are an incredible way to claim your energy independence. New installation techniques have brought solar costs down in recent years, and you’ll spot panels dotting more and more rooftops as savvy homeowners take advantage of that glorious southwestern sun.
A modest residential solar power systems can cut your energy bills by 30% or more. With the average family cooling bill running anywhere from $200 to $500 in Arizona, those savings add up fast. A good system can be surprisingly affordable, too. By taking advantage of possible federal and state tax credits, you can maximize your overall savings, lower your bills and be less reliant on fossil fuel energy.
Spending less on home energy is how new computers are bought, retirement funds get built and vacation savings get started. If you’re interested in going the extra mile towards energy independence with residential solar power, give SunPro Solar a call and find out how you can get started with 0% down.