5 Ways to Save Money and Energy This Winter

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You can save money by reducing your Lubbock, Texas, home’s energy needs this winter. Making your home more efficient will also get rid of drafts and increase comfort. Here are some ways you can save money and energy this winter.

Save Energy by Using Solar Panels

Enough solar panels may be able to generate almost all the energy your home needs. Solar shingles that look like asphalt shingles or tiles are available, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. You can install solar panels over your entire roof or add just a few solar panels in a yard or garden. Either way, the investment will eventually generate enough energy to pay for itself.

Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater

Conventional water heaters have an insulated storage tank for hot water. When the water cools, the water heater turns on, even if homeowners are asleep or at work. Tankless water heaters only operate when needed so that you can save money and energy. They also lower the risk of leaks and water damage, and they keep you from having to worry about running out of hot water. Gas tankless water heaters are small and wall-mounted, unlike bulky, conventional water heaters. Outdoor models leave even more free space in basements, garages, or utility rooms.

Replace Old Appliances

You can also save money over time by replacing other appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, or dryers if they’re more than about 15 years old. Modern appliances use less than half the energy of older models, and many new models save water as well as electricity. New refrigerators have better insulation, more efficient compressors, and more precise temperature control and defrost mechanisms. Many new dishwashers have an energy-saving cycle for dishes that are only slightly dirty.

Look for the Energy Star label for the best efficiency. The federal EnergyGuide label gives information about the annual energy consumption and operating costs of appliances, making comparison shopping easier. Be sure to choose the right size appliances for the most savings. Oversized equipment wastes energy and money, but undersized equipment can also cancel out energy savings. For example, a smaller dishwasher can’t wash many dishes in one load, so it would waste time and energy in a household with several people.

Check Your Insulation

Insulation helps keep your home warm in winter, but many types can settle over time and lose their effectiveness. Pests and bad weather can also create gaps that waste energy, and mold and mildew often grow near the moisture from those gaps, decreasing indoor air quality. You should check your insulation for mold growth and water damage at least once per year, and again if you’ve had a roof leak recently or your home has a musty smell.

You can often save money over time by adding insulation to your home as well. That way, your heating system won’t have to work as hard, and it will last longer and use less energy. You should add more attic insulation if it’s at or below your floor joists. If you can’t see your floor joists because your insulation is above them, you don’t need to add anything. Just make sure your existing insulation is evenly distributed and in good condition.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Without regular maintenance, your heater and air conditioner will start to break down, lowering their efficiency and increasing energy costs. You should have your heater maintained by a professional before winter to catch problems that could waste energy or shorten the life of your system. Since heating and air conditioning systems have to work harder to push air through clogged filters, you should also replace your air filter at least every three months or when it gets dirty. Remove debris like leaves, twigs, pine needles, or grass clippings from the outdoor parts of heating systems about once per month.

BTAC, Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning, has over 40 years of heating experience. We can even take care of your plumbing. With our fleet of more than 65 vehicles, we can respond quickly and take care of most problems in just one visit. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014.

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