With winter around the corner, we at Koehlinger Plumbing wanted to make sure to provide our clients with the top 10 tips to saving water and reducing your energy bills. Let’s face it, the last few winters in Chicago were brutal. Many people were hit with unexpectedly high energy bills and we don’t want that to happen to you, so we decided to post these practical tips you can use right now to start reducing your energy consumption and bills.
1. Start by plugging holes in exterior walls. Gas, water and electrical pipes typically leave gaps around them when entering your home. By covering these, you could prevent draft and help eliminate any unwanted critters from entering your home. You can seal these gaps with expanding foam from your local hardware store.
2. Cover your windows and unused sliding doors with plastic film. This helps eliminate leaks and reduce energy loss. Experts say by adding plastic film to your windows and unused doors you could reduce your heating bill by as much as 14%. Films can be found at most hardware stores and can easily be installed with a hair dryer.
3. Next install a programmable thermostat. With the recent increases in technology, you can even control your heating and cooling system from your mobile device, even if you are away from your home. This allows you to warm up your home before you enter. By using a programmable thermostat, you could program it to reduce temperatures at times when no one is home or at night.
After you have taken care of the heating system in your home and prevented leaks, the next place to look is to eliminate water waste within your plumbing system.
5. Reduce time in hot shower. According to the Department of Energy, heating the water in home could fully represent up to 18% of your monthly energy expense. Long hot showers not only waste water but can also dry your skin.
6. Reduce the temperature of your hot water heater so you’re not consuming as much energy. This alone can minimize hot water and natural gas usage.
7. Repair any leaky pipes, leaky faucet, or faulty toilet flapper in your home or office. The EPA said more than one trillion gallons of water are wasted each year in U.S. houses alone. Water leaks waste water and money because you end up paying to heat all of the lost water.
8. Install an on-demand recirculating system you press a button when you want instantant hot water. This helps avoid wasting water while waiting for it to get hot.
9. Replace old or outdated and inefficient major appliances with high efficient appliances.
10. Install new low-flow faucets, shower-heads and reduced circulation toilets. These will help you save more money over time due to less water consumption.
If you are unsure of where to start, consider having a winter home inspection by Koehlinger Plumbing to help make sure your home is most efficient this winter. Just finding one leak can easily make up the inspection cost and help you save resources for years to come.