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Easy ways to drop utility bill costs by  home adjustments

Real Estate Report
By Lauren Bunting | Apr 27, 2017

(April 28, 2017) One of the most expensive ongoing monthly expenses for homeowners outside of their mortgage payment is their utility bill.

There are some affordable and easy adjustments you can make throughout your home to cut back on many utility expenses.

 

Home Exterior

• Energy Star certified windows can shrink energy bills an average of 12 percent.

• Installing insulated vinyl siding can cut down on drafty wall studs, which account for up to 25 percent of the homes wall surface.

Bathroom

• To optimize water flow, select shower heads and faucets with a flow rate less then 2.5 gallons per minute

• Fixing common water leaks can reduce energy bills by 10 percent and prevent costly water bills.

Family Room

• Turning your thermostat back seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from the normal setting can reduce hating and cooing costs as much as 10 percent a year. The easiest way to achieve this on a regular basis is to install programmable thermostats that allow you to program your daily temperatures.

• Energy-efficient light bulbs use 25-80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last three to 25 times longer. The typical incandescent bulb lasts about 1,000 hours, while a 15-watt CFL bulb lasts 10,000 hours and a 12-watt LED bulb lasts 25,000 hours.

Kitchen

• Meals cooked in a toaster oven or convection oven require from one-third to half as much energy as a full size oven.

• Only running the dishwasher when you have a full load maximizes efficiency.

Laundry Room

• With an Energy Star certified washing machine, you can save more than 7,000 gallons per year and cut consumption by 40 percent.

• Energy Star certified dryers use about 20 percent less energy than conventional. They do this using innovative energy saving technologies, such as moisture sensors that detect when clothes are dry and automatically shut the dryer off.

• Reducing the target temperature of your hot water heater can save between 3 to 5 percent in energy costs. For maximum efficiency, set water heaters to 120 degrees.

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker

with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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