Michigan homeowners are lucky. Their monthly energy bill averages the 11th lowest in the nation.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Michigan homeowners pay an average of $97.41 for their monthly energy bill. The average for the country, meanwhile, clocks in at $111.67.
Just because their energy bills are lower than much of the country, though, doesn’t mean Michigan homeowners don’t like to save money. Who doesn’t, after all?
No matter where you live, there are steps you can take to reduce your energy bill. Some of these upgrades are quick, easy and cheap. Others are more expensive and are bigger projects.
All of these will definitely help to reduce your monthly energy bill. And some will even qualify you for federal and state rebates.
Here are five ways you can reduce your energy bill.
1. Beef Up Your Insulation
When you think of insulation, you most likely think of something that keeps you warm. While that is certainly true in the realm of jackets, it’s a little misleading when it comes to your home’s insulation.
Insulation makes your home energy efficient by not allowing air to escape from your home. It also protects air from outside from seeping through your roof, attic and walls.
By adding insulation in your walls, crawl space, basement and/or attic, you will be instantly increasing the energy efficiency of your home. This will ultimately save you money every month.
Energy Star provides a governmental guide on levels of insulation that is broken down by region. It’s a great starting point.
2. Check Your Windows
Speaking of air leaks, windows are one of the biggest culprits of energy loss in your home. If you have an older home, it’s likely that your windows are causing you to pay a lot extra on your monthly energy bill than you need to.
By installing new, high-efficiency windows, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency by 40% or more. One of the best ways to upgrade your windows is to switch from single-pane to double-pane windows that are filled with gas.
High-performance glass that has a low-e level. (or low emissivity) are always best. This type of window can cut down your cooling and heating costs by roughly 15% alone.
Replacing windows can be a costly project, though, depending on how many you have. If you can’t afford a full window replacement at this time, you can also seal the windows using a film kit in the meantime.
You can also use different color curtains to save energy. Use dark curtains in the winter and light curtains in the summer. These will help you keep your home warm and cool in the winter and summer, respectively.
3. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
This home “upgrade” is fairly minor, but it can save you a significant amount of money.
Switching from fluorescent light bulbs and incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs can save you roughly 15% on your monthly electric bill alone. That’s a large chunk of cash for a simple upgrade.
LED bulbs are, of course, more expensive to purchase. If it’s too much to replace all your home’s light bulbs at once, start with the ones you use the most. Then, make your way around your home and upgrade the rest over time.
4. Get Smart with Your Thermostat
Technology helps to power just about all aspects of our lives today. So, why not upgrade your thermostat to something more with the times?
Smart thermostats seem like luxury items, but they are really smart investments. They can run you anywhere from $150 to $250 up front. But since they can help save you more than $150 per year in energy costs, you’ll have a return on investment of as little as one year. That’s pretty amazing.
The smart thermostats can learn your living habits and adjust the temperature in your home for you so that you can save energy. Some also come Wifi enabled, which allows you to turn on and off the thermostat from anywhere in the home — and even outside the home.
Energy Star again provides a list of certified smart thermostats in case you don’t know where to get started.
5. Check Your Major Appliances
While you don’t run them all the time, your major appliances are some of the biggest energy suckers in all your home. Older appliances are not very energy efficient, and use a lot more energy than newer models.
The appliances you should check are water heaters, air conditions, heaters, clothes washers and dryers, and dish washers.
When you upgrade an older appliance to a new one, you may be able to qualify for energy rebates from the state and/or your energy company. You may even be able to write off a portion of the cost on your federal taxes. You’ll want to check with a financial professional to see if you can qualify for that.
Again, replacing major appliances is a costly endeavor. If you can’t do that right away, you can certainly change your habits to save on energy.
First, only run your clothes washer and dish washer when they are full. The fewer loads you run, the less money you spend. Next, run your heating and air conditioning lower than you normally would. Even a degree or two can save you some money.
Finally, have your major appliances tuned up by a professional. Appliances are like cars. The better you take care of them, the better they’ll perform, and the longer they’ll last.
Put Your Trust in Us
There are plenty of ways Michigan homeowners can save money on their monthly energy bills. But, energy bills aren’t the only monthly costs homeowners incur.
Home insurance is a major cost homeowners have. That’s why it’s so important to work with a trusted home insurance company like us.
At Signature Insurance, we provide all of our customers the best home insurance policy for them. This way, you’re not wasting your money on things you don’t need, and you’re insuring the things essential to you.
Call us today so we can help walk you through the best home insurance policy for you.