Upgrading an appliance to a new energy efficient model may save you money on your electric bill but it's not always the right move financially. Here are some energy saving tips that you may want to avoid:
Wait on Those LED Bulbs – LED bulbs are expensive, costing between $17-$35 each for a 60 watt bulb versus $1.25 for a similar CFL bulb. Among the benefits of LEDs are longer life, better dimming, and better light quality. With experts predicting a typical 60 watt LED bulb to cost $10 next year and $5 in two years it may make sense to wait to upgrade.
Don't Pay for an Energy Audit – Energy audits can help identify areas where you are wasting energy and can save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your home. They are also expensive, costing anywhere from a couple hundred dollars up to $800. Many utilities will do one for free so check with your local electric utility for details. The US Department of Energy has a great resource for homeowners thinking about scheduling a home energy audit.
Delay Upgrading Those Appliances – Upgrading a 15 year old refrigerator to a more energy efficient model can shave your electric bill by $60 but if you can make due with that refrigerator for another few years, you can save yourself $167 each year by avoiding a purchase of a new refrigerator versus saving $60 in a lower electric bill. (Savings based on the purchase of a $2500 refrigerator with a life of 15 years).
DIY Repair Appliances to Extend Life – As with any DIY repair you should only attempt projects that you are comfortable with and have the skills and tools to complete. I have replaced numerous parts on my appliances from ovens, refrigerators, washers and dryers, to coffee pots. Replacing the pump assembly on my Sears Kenmore H3 Front Loading washing machine would cost me approximately $300 to hire a repairman but would cost me $53 if I ordered the part on Amazon and replace it myself.
Lower Your Electric Bill with This Simple Energy Saving Tip
According to the Edison Electric Institute, an organization that provides power industry statistics and is involved in developing public policy on energy issues and energy efficiency, drafty doors and entrances account for up to 15-30 percent of a home's total heating costs.
We are going to assume you have already checked your doors for leaks and installed the proper weather stripping however, when was the last time you checked your garage door weather stripping? You need to repair or replace the weather stripping on garage doors because keeping out cold air will keep the temperature in your garage, if just a little bit, warmer. The garage acts as a really big breezeway between your home and the frigid outdoors and this buffer can reduce the heat loss when entering or leaving your home. While you are at it make sure the weatherstripping on the door to the garage is sealing properly.
Any opening in an exterior wall is a potential source of heat loss so calking around outlets and installing outlet covers can reduce a significant amount of heat loss.
More Articles to Help You Save Money
Our friend Maria over at The Money Principle shares some great tips for freelancers with – 10 Survival Money Rules for Freelancers