Here we are, the month of February which is one of the coldest months of the winter season. We see the cost of our energy bills rise higher with each passing year. We all know that we can save money by saving energy. We think to ourselves, “when the weather improves I am going to look into fixing up this place to keep it from using such a large amount of energy and costing me a fortune”. Then the days start to get a little warmer and we often begin to fidget. We have been couped up inside for most of the winter. Bundled up, heaters on while peeking out the window often to check the weather.
Here in Southern California we have a mild winter and this year we did not even get a lot of rain. That is all great except at night we usually had to run the heaters to keep us warm in our beds and comfortable when we had to get up in the morning. It is not cold enough here for out door snow sports unless we want to drive for a couple of hours to go skiing or snow boarding at the closest mountain resorts. It is still too cool and the fun stuff is usually closed this time of year, leaving us bored and anxious for some fun. We see our energy bills rise as we grit our teeth and shudder at the thought of paying the extra money. We think about all the fun stuff we would rather do with the extra money being spent on high energy bills.
There is a way to save money by saving energy. I have some ideas to consider that will help save you some extra cash through the coldest and warmest seasons of the year and still be comfortable.
I am sure many of you have heard about Low-E, Argon filled Windows. Yes, these do actually save you about 15- 20% on your energy costs. That means for every $100 you spend on energy you will save about $15- $20 dollars. Let’s say you are only spending $100 per month consistently through out the year. (we all know energy costs rise significantly in the winter and summer months). Over a period of 12 months at $100 per month one would spend $1200 per year. Let’s assume we are saving 15% of the whole year’s energy cost. That would mean we are saving $180 per year simply by replacing our old windows with energy efficient windows.
There are at least two energy efficient water heaters that help save money by saving energy. The first one is a Tankless Water heater. It works by drawing water through a coil that heats the water at you use need hot water instead of it being held in a tank on reserve, constantly drawing energy and raising your costs. The draw back is that there is a limit on how many sources can use hot water at a time. The benefit of using this water heater is that you never run out of hot water and the cost on heating the reserve tank is eliminated.
The second energy efficient water heater is the Solar Water Heater. Having this water heater saves about 90% on your energy costs to have hot water. Yes, it does cost more than the standard water heater, however, the savings from using this type of water heater is well worth it and it’s Return on Investment is very high and pays for itself in no time. The only draw back to this type of water heater is that a back-up water heater is needed so that there will be a supply of hot water when there is not a supply of solar energy. The benefits on this one absolutely out ways the inconvenience of having a second water heater.
Of course, everyone knows using energy efficient appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers also helps to conserve on the cost of energy. There is something that many people often forget about and that would be weatherization of your home. Using caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows to lower the loss of your heat in the winter and the coolness in the summer. Of course there is many things that can be done to weatherize your home. We can weatherize your home, make necessary repairs and help you save money by saving energy.
If you need help to get your home weatherized and you qualify to receive help, there are programs that may be available in your area. For help in California click here to learn more about low income programs to help you weatherize your home.