Overlooked Ways to Lower Your Power Bill

Are you searching the web for “Ways To Lower Your Power Bill” like most Arizona residents?  When the temperatures start to go up, so do the electricity bills. Keeping your home comfortable costs more during the summer, but there are ways to help minimize that effect.

Ways To Save Energy & Money

Everyone loves saving money, especially on recurring bills. We are always looking for ‘life hacks’ that can help boost the efficiency of living our lives while lowering the cost it carries. In our search for methods to reduce our power bills many simple tactics are easily overlooked and never taken advantage of. We are going to briefly outline 3 of these tactics that can help you up the efficiency of your home while lowering the amount of money you are spending on it to keep all systems running, so to speak.

Inspect Your Home’s Insulation

Make sure that all of the insulation in your home was up to, or even exceeding standards. As time passes insulation breaks down and experiences a drop in efficiency. The speed of the deterioration depends on several things, including the climate and exposure to moisture.

Unplug Unused Electronics

Unplug appliances and devices that may leach power while on standby mode. While we are led to believe that these electronic devices and appliances turn off when we stop using them. This is rarely the case and the combination of all appliances that are ‘secretly’ consuming power adds up to needless money spent. That money can do a lot of good for you instead of just disappearing.

Get A Professional Energy Audit

Have an energy audit performed on your home by a professional. Having a trained eye assess your home will not only arm you with the information and tactics you need to increase the efficiency of your home, it will also provide you with peace of mind because you won’t wonder if you missed anything in your own untrained assessment.

Take Care Of Crawlspaces

Make sure our crawl spaces are well maintained and not left open and therefore exposed. If the openings to your crawl spaces are exposed cold air can enter in the winter and warm air in the summer. Some wonder if the answer is sealing off their crawl spaces completely from the outdoors and the answer is yes, if you do so with a crawl space encapsulation system. If you don’t have a crawl space encapsulation system, then sealing off your crawl spaces in the winter months is recommended.

Control Moisture in Crawlspaces

Make sure the moisture levels in your crawl space are at reasonable levels. This can be done by installing small moisture meters and checking them periodically. Not all crawl spaces are easily accessible and if that is the case a professional should be called in to inspect them. Ideally the moisture level within your crawl spaces should be below 50%.

Check Insulation in the Crawlspace

Check the condition of the insulation in your crawl space. Over time the buildup of moisture can cause the insulation to become saturated and, by extension, inefficient. Saturated insulation in your crawl space will cause your home to experience a definite drop in energy efficiency. Mold growth can also be a problem in crawl spaces that are overly saturated with moisture.

Invest In Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Increasing the energy efficiency of your home is never a bad thing and will almost always save you a significant amount of money over the long haul. Have your home put through an energy audit and see where you can afford to make improvements! If you would like more information or help inspecting and improving your home insulation in the Phoenix area, please contact Barrier Insulation today by calling either 602-499-2922 or 623-931-0637.

Tips for Saving Energy

Energy efficiency is growing ever more important in a day and age when our resources are dwindling and our way of life is getting more in line with what is best for the planet. Scientific advancements are constantly being applied to various areas of our every day lives and our ability to utilize the energy that we generate is improving exponentially. This means there are opportunities to save money on energy that are greater than ever before. Not all of us have the means to utilize these scientific advancements right away, but there are steps you can take to save money in order to put it towards these improvements that can greatly improve your every day life. Here are some tips:

To Reduce Heat:

  • During the warmer months, prevent as much natural light from entering your home as possible. The more light that enters your home, the more heat it will carry along with it. Keeping blinds and shades closed is highly recommended
  • Extend any window awnings to provide more shade around your windows
  • Use light bulbs that are more energy efficient. Standard light bulbs operate at warm temperatures that can raise the temperature inside your home.
  • Close the doors and cooling vents in any rooms that are not being used regularly. Open the vents and doors as needed.
  • BBQ as much as possible instead of using the oven inside of your home. Ovens produce massive levels of heat by their very nature and avoiding that heat radiating throughout the interior of your home is impossible.

Thermostat Tips:

  • Pick a comfortable setting and leave your thermostat locked on that setting at all times. It is much easier to maintain a temperature than it is to use heat or cooling to achieve a new temp level. If need be, change it only when you wake up and before you lay down for bed in the evening.
  • Contrary to what most believe, setting your thermostat to lower or higher temperatures in order to heat or cool faster does not work. Your central air unit will heat and cool at a steady rate which means that all you are doing is prolonging the time it will be running on top of setting yourself up to be uncomfortable once the temp it was set for is reached. The only way to fix that would be to set a new comfortable temp and make your system work to achieve it.
  • Keep heat producing appliances away from the thermostat. The heat that radiates from them will cause the thermostat to get false reading which will cause it to activate or deactivate depending on if you are heating or cooling.

Utilizing these tips can help you save a lot of money over time on your energy bills giving you more financial liquidity and freedom. On top of that you can use the savings to pay for improvements that can further increase the energy efficiency of your home via upgrades to things like insulation and appliances related to your central air system. In this day and age, updating your home to modern standards in regard to appliances, electrical systems, insulation, ventilation, and the materials used in the home can skyrocket your home’s ability to use energy efficiently. These kinds of improvements pay for themselves over time, making them a no brainer. The toughest part may be figuring out how to make the initial investments, but making certain behavioral changes can give you your starting capital for your series of home improvements.

9 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency Part 4

Back again with the conclusion of our 4 part series on ways that you can increase your home’s energy efficiency with tips seven through nine. If you haven’t read parts one –three, please do so in order to complete the picture of energy efficiency that we’re trying to paint. With that said, here we go.

  1. Advanced Lighting Technology: Equipping your home with energy efficient LED and fluorescent bulbs throughout will go a long way in saving you money on you energy bill and because of the fact that you won’t need to replace light bulbs for years because of the longevity of the advanced bulbs. You can find one of these bulbs to fit any light fixture in your home.
  2. Upgrading Appliances: Using modern versions of household appliances will have a major effect, especially when combined with the other tips in this series. New appliances will not only use less electricity to function, they use less water (applicable appliances only), dryers have sensors to tell them when to stop a dry cycle, and new power strips will put the icing on your energy efficiency cake.
  3. Equip Your Home To Be Able to Produce Renewable Energy: Adding solor panels or a wind turbine to your property will increase the overall value of your home and property, it will save you money each month and may even MAKE you money! Some city and town governments offer incentives to those who choose to modify their home with renewable energy producing additions and some will even purchase excess electricity you contribute to the power grid.

This concludes our series on raising your home’s energy efficiency without interrupting your everyday lifestyle. Read parts one-three and watch your energy bill plummet as you install these changes into your home!

9 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency Part 3

Here we go with part 3 of our series of tips for increasing your home’s energy efficiency. We have covered four tips so far in the series and will be hitting you with two more today! Energy efficiency has a direct correlation to your bank account because it heavily impacts your energy bill and how expensive or cheap it will routinely be. We highly recommend reading every part of this series in order to transform and maximize the energy efficiency of your home.

Heating and Cooling Upgrades

Upgrading your heating and cooling system to a more modern model will immediately upgrade the energy efficiency of your home as soon as it is powered on. Some older homes will see a major difference if they are using old and outdated appliances that are the electrical equivalent of gas guzzling vehicles. Having power bills in the neighborhood of $400 is absurd and should not be experienced with the advancements available in 2015. For instance, gas furnaces are roughly 25% more efficient now than they were in the 70’s. There are new versions of appliances and new methods of installation and insulating that have developed over the past ten years that can not only change the efficiency with which your home operates, they will increase the overall value of your property immensely. Modernizing your home is always a good idea, especially if you have owned it for a while or if you recently bought an older home.

Water Heater Adjustments

Water heaters can often get lost as part of the scenery in a home rather than an appliance you would actively interact with. Often times, they aren’t even in a location that is regularly visible so the old ‘out of sight, out of mind’ adage is definitely at play. For such an overlooked appliance, the water heater checks in as the second largest consumer of energy in any home. Making sure the heater is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (the most efficient setting) and that it is well insulated to conserve energy will pay dividends whenever you power bill arrives.

Stay tuned for our next two tips in part four of our series in our next entry!

9 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency Part 2

We are back this week with the next two steps in our continuing blog entry on ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency. You can always look back to part one for the first two steps that we have covered thus far.  Once you have taken in that information you’ll be ready to move along with us to steps 3 & 4!

  1. Have your home put through an Energy Audit:

An energy audit will help you understand exactly how your home is using energy and what amount of energy it is consuming. Identifying areas where you may be wasting energy can prove to be incredibly valuable and save you a lot of money once you correct the wasteful behavior. You can run home energy audits online for free, so there really is no reason to pass up this option! There are several on line energy audits available online and your current power company may even have online tools for you to use.

  1. Weatherization:

Weatherizing is the most cost effective way to raise your home’s energy efficiency and it is also one of the methods that will have the most immediate impact. Weatherization works equally well in both warmer and colder climates because it keeps the outside environment from influencing or outright changing the indoor environment within your home. Air sealing windows and doors will cover holes you had no idea even existed greatly increasing your home’s barrier against the elements. Another great way to weatherize your home is by adding insulation or upgrading your already existing insulation to a more modern and efficient type. Air sealing and upgrading insulation will provide a night and day difference in your homes comfort level and energy consumption.

Stay tuned as we will be back soon with the next two steps for increasing your homes energy efficiency!

9 Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency in 2016 Part 1

Living in Arizona can be very demanding when it comes to energy use, especially during the extremely hot summer months. Running your AC unit constantly to keep your home comfortable and cool adds up and can lead to some pretty lofty power bills. Saving money can benefit everyone and the fact that becoming more energy efficient benefits the environment is a win-win for all. This blog entry is part 1 in a series of how to lower your energy use while maintaining the benefits of a comfortable home.

  1. Keep your power bills for records: Your energy bill is very detailed and offers you a plethora of beneficial information that can help you understand how much energy you use regularly as well as track the differences that occur from any changes you make. You will see how much electricity and gas you use over the course of the previous month and the year to date. You can file away your physical bills or save electronic records for future reference.
  2. Be open to changes in your lifestyle: Adjusting your energy use will inevitably involve making changes in your every day behaviors and habits. Keeping conscious about your energy use is going to be a lifestyle change in itself and that is only the mindset part. Actually putting new practices in motion will be new and unfamiliar at first, but once you adjust to your new way of living you will have a fatter wallet to accompany you.

 

These are important primer steps for the real changes that will be outlined next week in our next entry. Getting into the right mindset to make lifestyle changes is the most important step when it comes to making important changes stick. Come back next week and we will have more steps for you to take toward increased energy efficiency!

Energy Efficiency During the Winter

Are you searching for ways to improve your Energy Efficiency During the Winter? This post is meant to help keep your costs down during the colder months.  Winter time is here and we are experiencing an abnormally cold winter here in the Valley of the Sun. Getting your home prepared to stay warm and energetically efficient throughout the season can do a lot to keep you and your family comfortable as well as saving you money on your monthly energy bill. We are going to go over various ways that you can winterize your home and stay cozy until the inevitable triple digit temperatures return in a few months.

Heating System Inspection

Have your heating system inspected and maintained as soon as you can. Keeping your heating system in top shape will allow it to perform efficiently which will keep your home warm while also reducing the wear and tear you system will incur because it will not have to work as hard to produce the desired result.

Close The Vents

Make sure your foundation vents are closed. Your vents should honestly be closed by the time winter rolls around because it is advised that the vents are closed in the Fall and reopened in the Spring, but life happens and sometimes we overlook things. Make sure to check that your vents are closed as the season changes.

Check Door & Window Seals

Check your windows and doors and make sure they are in good condition and properly sealed. Unfit doors and windows are notorious for letting in cold winter air and will drastically compromise the energy efficiency of your home. That is a lose-lose situation. Checking on the seals and having them repaired if necessary is just as important as keeping the windows and doors themselves in good condition.

Inspect Attic & Home Insulation

Make sure your attic is properly insulated. It is easy to lose the heat in your home as it rises through the attic, which will cause a severe drop in energy efficiency. Investing in insulation for your attic will keep you warm and save you money.  Your attic insulation is a major key in keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient, but you should not neglect the rest of the home.  Crawl spaces, walls, and air leaks can greatly impact the energy efficiency of your home.