Repairing storm damage to the air conditioner

Home Renovations That Can Help Lower Your Electric Bill

by Ivan Prescott

If you have been struggling with a high electric bill, it might be time to think of long-term solutions. While keeping the lights turned off and trying not to use the heater or air conditioner as much can certainly help, there are some renovations that are even better for lowering your electric bill. While you pay a little more in the beginning, it becomes a long-term investment that is worth it in the long run.

Install Ceiling Fans

The first thing you can do when you want lower electric bills is to install ceiling fans. There are two things ceiling fans can do for you. The first benefit is that there are many times when you just need your home a little cooler, without actually turning on your air conditioner. Fans use a lot less energy than HVAC units, so you can turn the ceiling fans on and avoid the air conditioner entirely. On hotter days, they can help if you turn the fans on and increase the temperature of your air conditioner. You are still saving energy with the temperature adjustment, but the ceiling fan blows the cool air around, making the room a lot more comfortable.

Get Energy-Efficient Windows

If it is time for new windows in your home, consider choosing more energy-efficient ones. These windows are often double or triple-pane, which allows them to detract some of the sunshine from outside, so that it doesn't get quite as hot in your home. This also helps you use the air conditioner a little less often in the summer months. You can also opt for a skylight, which will provide excellent lighting in your home during the day, reducing the need for indoor lights, to help save even more on your electric bill. This can also provide more heat during the day during those cold months.

Consider Better Insulation and Weather Stripping

When you are remodeling your home for energy-saving purposes, it is a great time to have your weatherstripping and insulation checked. Better insulation means the indoor temperature, whether hot or cold, remains comfortable. It reduces how often you are using your HVAC unit or fans, and allows you to really hold onto that interior temperature. Weatherstripping helps to save energy as well, by preventing air leakage around doors and windows.

Have Timer Lights Installed

A common area of the home where energy is used more than necessary is with the lights. If you find that you are leaving lights on longer than necessary, have timer lights installed. These will shut off automatically after a certain period of time, so even if someone forgets to turn off the light switch, they still shut off after the programmed time increment. An electrical contractor can help with this project as well as installing a ceiling fan.