Trying to lower your home’s energy usage? You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by focusing on the biggest energy guzzlers. We’ve covered many of these on this blog:
- Sign up for a GVEA Home$ense Energy Audit. Find out where your house is using the most energy and how to cut back. This program is different from the Alaska Home Energy Rebate program because it focuses primarily on electric usage. Have you already had the audit? If it has been awhile and things have changed in your home, you might want to think about having it done again.
- Either give the old refrigerator in the garage a boot or replace it with something more energy efficient. While older refrigerators are usually easy to come by and cheap, they use a lot of electricity to operate. In fact, a pre-1992 refrigerator could be costing you upwards of $300 each year in electricity alone.
- Use the clothes dryer sparingly. For smaller households, it might be worth investing in drying racks. If nothing else, dry full loads and make sure your lint screen is clean as a full lint screen makes the dryer work harder. The average electrical cost to run one load of laundry through the dryer is about $0.75.
- Use a timer when plugging in your car. Winter isn’t here yet, but now is a good time to pick up a timer for your outside outlet if you don’t have one. The average car really only needs about two hours of plugged in time to warm up. Plugging it in all night is not helping the car and it’s certainly not helping your electric bill (you could lose up to $40 per month per car by plugging them in all night).
- Use electric heaters sparingly. One electric heater plugged in for four hours each day could add $33 to your electric bill.
- Replace your showerhead with a low-flow version. You will really notice the savings if you operate an electric hot water heater.
Of course, there are other energy guzzlers like the electric hot water heater, heat tape and hot tubs. We’ll look at these in upcoming blog posts.