4 Ways to Save On Your Energy Bills and Reduce Energy Waste

There are a number of household habits that contribute to energy waste and higher monthly costs. However, many homeowners tend to take simple adjustments and updates for granted, instead, looking for complex upgrades and renovations that don't have an effective return on investment. Here are a few ways you and your household can improve your energy efficiency with cost-effective practices and upgrades.


4 Energy Saving Ideas to Lower Your Bills

1. Switch Out Appliances

The larger appliances in your home, like your refrigerator or dishwasher, take up a significant amount of energy and can run up costs if they're used too often. However, a reduced operation isn't always an option, especially if you live in a larger household. One alternative is to make sure you're running these machines at full capacity: don't run a half-full washer or dishwasher, dry clothes on a lower heat setting, and make fewer trips back and forth to the refrigerator when cooking. While this can seem like a simple solution that's effective for some households, there are other options.

Rather than getting into the habit of unplugging small appliances and letting the dishes or laundry air dry to cut back on energy use, it may be time to look into more energy-efficient appliances. Koala Insulation is a certified Energy Star Partner, connecting with organizations that are dedicated to improving the environment while also providing energy-efficient services and products. Energy Star has a number of appliances and devices that use less energy while running just as effectively and they also work with a number of states to provide rebates on new purchases.


2. Update Old Insulation

The insulation installed throughout your home helps to improve the climate control capabilities and temperature regulation of the building. The material reduces the rate of heat transfer, which is how heat moves through your building. If insulation is old, damaged, or improperly installed, you’ll experience more heat loss in the winter and heat gain during the summer. In an effort to keep up with the temperature on the thermostat and keep your home comfortable, your HVAC system needs to run more often. This can drastically increase monthly costs and energy waste as heat moves freely through the walls and floors.

Retrofitting insulation is the process of evaluating your current insulation and removing the old and deteriorated materials so they can be replaced with something new and more suitable to your home’s needs. While there are some materials that can potentially last up to 15 years, damages from moisture, pests, and other disturbances can increase the rate of deterioration exponentially. When the insulation deteriorates, it’s less effective at reducing heat transfer and preventing irregular temperatures. As such, you’re losing out on a key line of defense in maintaining a comfortable environment.


3. Improve The Air Sealing

Insulation and air sealing are typically two sides of the same coin, working hand-in-hand to improve your home's climate control and regulate the temperature. With updated and new air sealing throughout the house, you can reduce regular energy costs. Small and even seemingly insignificant cracks or holes throughout the building envelope allow for air leaks and uncontrolled airflow. One of the worst problems this can cause is a significant increase in your energy bills: if the airflow isn't controlled in a structure with the help of air sealing, heat and outdoor air move unrestricted through these openings. The conditioned air or heat from your HVAC unit is lost through openings and cracks, replaced by air from outside. It's almost as if you've left a window or door open while the A/C is still turned on.

In addition to raising your regular heating and cooling costs, these air leaks can also increase the risk of health hazards. When air comes in from the outdoors, it’s not just contributing to your discomfort in the form of drafts and cold spots. Air leaks can also allow for dust, allergens, and other outdoor pollutants to infiltrate the building which results in poor indoor air quality. If you or members of your household begin to experience allergy-like symptoms when you wake up - stuffy noses, sore throat, etc. - which go away after a short time, it could be because of these pollutants and poor indoor air quality in your house. Updated air sealing not only helps reduce the strain on your wallet but can also reduce the strain on your respiratory system.


4. Change Your Lighting

Even making minor adjustments in your habits and throughout the house can have a significant impact on your energy usage and costs. Incandescent light bulbs are not only outdated, but they're also costing you more than you may realize - this is a big reason why they're being phased out of recommended use! They produce less light, last a short amount of time, and are considerably less efficient when compared to modern alternatives. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs use less energy while also producing less heat and more light. LED bulbs specifically use an average of 75% less energy than incandescent lighting.

On top of removing and replacing energy-wasting lights with energy-saving alternatives, you can also make minor adjustments in household habits that can add up to more savings. While it may not seem like it has a significant effect at first, even simply turning off the lights every time you leave the room can add up to reduced costs over the months. You should also be sure that lamps and standing lights are positioned in places that maximize their efficiency. A standing lamp near the couch or your bed can be more effective than a ceiling light and it also uses less energy! Finally, opening up the blinds or curtains to improve the lighting can reduce your need to flip the light switch in the first place!


How Can I Save on Energy Bills?

Koala Insulation can help you and your household save on monthly bills and fees with the help of our free evaluations and insulation services. With the assistance of our trained and experienced insulation professionals, you can make informed decisions on updating old and deteriorated insulation and air sealing to improve your home’s safety, comfort, and savings. Contact your local industry experts today for a free evaluation to learn more about how we can help you improve your energy efficiency with cost-effective materials.