If your average monthly power bill is more than $100, you’re paying too much. Of course, there are other signs of overspending, too.
For example, if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, or your window frames are made of wood or aluminum, your wallet is likely feeling the pain.
To lower your energy bill, consider updating these parts of your home.
Windows are a major energy user, particularly if they are old, accounting for up to a third of the energy loss in your home, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“Not only does the cold air that seeps into your home through these leaks force your heating system to work that much harder to maintain a stable and comfortable temperature; poorly fitted and sealed windows also make it that much easier for the warm air inside your home to get out,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Combat the problem by sealing leaks and making necessary repairs, something a professional can easily help you do. If your windows are beyond repair, have them retrofitted, meaning a new product will fit into your existing home, no matter its age.
“Many older San Diego homes would benefit from retrofit windows, which are thicker and offer better insulation and noise reduction,” according to Approved Home Pros.
An essential way to conserve energy and lower your power bill is to adequately insulate your home.
“Insulation in your home provides resistance to heat flow,” energy.gov says. “The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs.”
Check the attic to see how much insulation you have. If it covers the joists and is evenly distributed, you’re set, according to Energy Star. If, however, it is level with or below the joists or is unevenly distributed, you should add more.
It’s easy to have insulation added in your attic, and a pro will help you figure out how much you need.
With about a quarter of the heat in your home lost through the roof, according to Green Home Gnome, it’s another area that quickly adds to your energy bill. Insulation in your attic will bring the temperature loss down, but the roof also needs to be in good shape.
Completely replacing your roof is a big expense, so first check whether problem areas can be fixed by patching leaks or repairing damage. If you re-roof, take a look at options that were not available in the past, such as a cool roof.
“‘Cool’ roofs are lighter in color than traditional black asphalt or dark wood shingles and save energy by reflecting light and heat away rather than absorbing them,” according to the U.S. Green Building Council. “This is known as ‘the albedo effect,’ and many studies have documented significant energy savings from simply lightening the color of a roof.”
Regardless of whether you replace your roof, you can add solar panels, which will help you save energy by creating your own.
Of all the energy the United States produces, 6 percent is used just to power air conditioners, according to energy.gov. In other words, it’s important your A/C runs properly.
The most obvious issue is if your home is not being cooled. Other common problems, according to hometips.com, include water leaks, strange noises and and A/C that won't turn off.
“Air conditioner manufacturers generally make rugged, high-quality products,” the Department of Energy says. “If your air conditioner fails, begin by checking any fuses or circuit breakers.”
If your inspection doesn’t rectify the problem, contact an expert to find out if you need a repair or a replacement.
Hire a pro
Find the right person to help you create a more energy-efficient home — and lower your power bill — with Approved Home Pros, which recommends San Diego service providers who “pass a rigorous screening and maintain a spotless service record,” according to its website. Visit sandiegoapprovedhomepros.com for more information and to choose a service professional.