Finding ways to manage expenses is one of the cornerstones of a sound financial strategy. Here are some simple and inexpensive energy-saving tips that may help you save money:
To better understand where opportunities may exist for improving energy efficiency, consider an energy audit. Perform one yourself by purchasing a home energy monitor, which tracks your energy use, and a handheld air leak detector to identify windows, doors, and other areas of the home that are drafty.
Also, your local power utility may offer in-home energy audits or related services that can help identify remediation opportunities.
Consider these do-it-yourself ideas that may offer immediate savings at very little cost.
Install a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the heat or air conditioning because—let’s face it—you forget to do it.
Devices that offer “instant on” or continuous display (e.g., TV, cable box, and recharger) use energy non-stop. Consider a power strip to reduce their electrical use by shutting off the power strip at bedtime.
Plug up air leaks through weather stripping or caulking; install door sweeps to block drafts. Close the fireplace damper when it's not in use.
Be sure to have your heating system serviced to ensure maximum efficiency.
Install a water heater blanket and turn the heater down to 120 degrees; not only is a higher temperature wasteful, but a lower temperature is a safety precaution for younger children. Lower it to a minimum when you leave for vacation.
Honk If You Like to Save Money
For many, the cost of running their automobile(s) can be higher than the cost of running their home. Here are ways to save:
Tune up your car.
Check your tires for proper inflation.
Drive sensibly by eliminating excessive idling, aggressive driving, and speeding.
Eliminate weight — empty that trunk!
* The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.