There are several ways to reduce energy costs and make your bills more manageable. Today, we will discuss five home installations that will help reduce electric consumption and help save you money. With the overall solar panel cost dropping each year, installing just one panel can save up to $2,300 over 15 years.
These include installing a smart thermostat, creating solar thermal collectors for hot water, insulating your attic, creating an insulating air barrier in your basement or crawl space, and adding radiant floor heating to the bathtub.
Using these simple changes can pay off big time for your wallets!
Install a smart thermostat
Traditionally, thermostats worked by cycling the heating and cooling systems on for short periods. This is not an efficient way to manage your heating and cooling, as you constantly push energy into your home that is not being used.
Changing a smart thermostat will make it, so the system only heats or cools when needed. On the go, many can also be controlled from computers or smartphones, which allows you even more flexibility in adjusting temperatures around your schedule. The result? A reduction in energy consumption of up to 30%.
Install solar thermal collectors for hot water
Installing solar thermal collectors is an easy way to cut the heating bill. Geothermal power systems are expensive and cost-prohibitive at this time; however, solar thermal collectors can help you reduce your home’s reliance on electric power.
A typical solar thermal collector system includes a series of metal tubes the water passes through, which helps the water reach a temperature of about 200°F to 300°F. While this won’t completely replace your electric water heater, it will drastically reduce your usage and, in some cases, allow you to eliminate the electric heating element. Installing just one panel can save up to $2,300 over 15 years.
Insulate your attic
Insulating your attic is not just to keep warm in the winter. It’s a great way to reduce energy costs. Insulation will decrease the temperature of your attic, which will cause less heat to be wasted through your HVAC system. The sun shines into your home as well as below you, so insulating your attic will also reduce the amount of time it takes for the hot air produced by the sun to reach your living space. Insulation can save more than $1,000 per year on heating bills alone. ceiling and attic access doors and panels provide convenient access for maintenance and repairs
Create an insulating air barrier in your basement or crawl space
Regardless of whether you are in a warmer climate or not, basements and crawl spaces should be insulated. Most homes have some form of insulation installed between the exposed walls and the concrete basement foundation.
Sometimes, however, insulation is not installed between the wall and floor, which leaves a large opening for air to move through the basement. The same goes for crawl spaces. In these areas, heat can leave just as fast as it enters, which means using more energy than necessary on your heating system (not to mention more wear and tear).
Insulating your basement or crawl space can reduce the heat you lose by as much as 60%, saving you more than $50 annually.
Install electric floor heating
Electric floor heating is a great alternative to radiant heating. While radiant heating uses magnetic coils that heat the floor (and thus you), an electrically heated floor system uses electric coils under the floor to heat it. The result? Very little difference from a comfort standpoint and a much lower energy bill.
You only need to run each of your rooms three to five hours per day to achieve optimal results for about half of the year. Electric floor heating systems can save you about $100 annually and have an average payback time of eight to ten years.
In conclusion, these five home installations can greatly reduce your energy costs. While these examples only touch the tip of the iceberg, there are many other ways to reduce your bill by combining or even using them with others.
For example, installing solar thermal collectors and a smart thermostat is one of the most efficient ways to reduce energy consumption while lowering your bills. The installation process is relatively painless and simple to complete. The time and money spent are well worth it compared to their benefits!