Check with your power company, your county, state, and nonprofit organizations to see if there are any free weatherization programs available. I did and had my house completely weatherized (insulation, solar attic fan, window repair and more) for free. These programs require an application process. In some cases, there are funds available for more energy-efficient appliances, such as a furnace. The weatherization is focused on making the house airtight, to plug up leaks around windows, attics, doors, and walls. There could be a 30% savings in energy with weatherization.
By Mary from Kensington, MD
Most areas have Community Action Agencies in each county which get grants to provide weatherization services to low income households.
We got our weatherization done free by our local county agency, about a year ago. Hubby still complains about the new fridge, which seems cheap to him, especially when compared to the one it replaced. I'm very happy with the furnace, though. It has a tactile thermostat, so even I can tell whether it's set on 68 or 74, lol! Our heat and electricity bills are definitely down, but we're still trying to get used to having to violently slam the front door just to get it to latch. Everything got replaced except for the hot water heater because there were unexpected fixes that sapped the overall weatherization budget. I don't think they did too badly, though, considering that our house is probably about 150 years old!
Here are some tips from the U.S. Department of Energy for making your hot water use more efficient:
We installed a tankless water heater that only heats the water as you need it. It heats the water instantly as you need it. My husband could install it himself, and we save money monthly on our electric bills.
Hope these tips work for you!
By Dorothy from New Creek, WV
Good works, all. Here's another one.
Move the heater gauge down to a "normal" heat that won't hurt your hands. My personal temperature "feel" is what my shower feels like. Take it as hot at you like straight from the hot, and adjust your heater for that temp. You won't need water hotter than that for any reason, even to wash dishes. Clothes get clean using warm/cold.
Note: As your heater ages, the temperature of your hot water rises. Not sure why. Read it somewhere and it is true! My heater is now 15 yrs. old and I keep having to reduce the temperature to keep the hot water from burning my hands straight from the faucet! I help other older retired residents in my apartment complex to adjust their heaters, also. The heaters are all the same age!
Now that the cold months are nearly upon many of us we wanted to share some ideas about how to make your house more energy efficient.
The Home Energy Saver website has a useful tool for determining how much you spend on energy and how much having a more energy efficient house can save you.