Utility costs can quickly add up, especially when it comes to properties that may be far from energy efficient. From conducting an initial audit or inspection to devising a strategy that can help to take some of the strain of the HVAC and climate control system, there are plenty of opportunities that may allow property owners to lower their monthly utility bills. Making full use of the most effective energy-saving tactics can allow home and property owners to devise a strategy capable of producing superior results.
1. Conduct an Energy Audit
A complete energy audit should always be the first tactic employed. Overlooking situations that may require further attention and improvement or investing in new appliances and other resources that may not make a difference can lead to many problems. A comprehensive audit or inspection of a home or commercial property will provide owners with the insight and understanding needed to better direct their efforts. From outdated HVAC components to lack of adequate commercial insulation, audits are essential for identifying and outlining the specific issues and situations where changes and upgrades will have the most impact.
2. New Fixtures, Fans and Sun Shades
Starting small is another tactic that can make a big difference. Major appliances and home-improvement projects come with a hefty price tag, but even little changes can still help to cut down utility costs. High-efficiency LED lighting fixtures that use less power as well as the addition of ceiling fans and sunshades to help cut down on cooling costs can be effective upgrades that won’t break the bank. Smaller changes are also a great way for property owners to lower their utility costs without having to commit the time, effort and expense needed to take on a larger project.
3. Upgrading to an Energy-Efficient HVAC System
It is not uncommon for climate control to account for the majority of utility costs, especially in areas where seasonal weather tends to be a bit more extreme. When undertaking projects that will allow for more efficient heating and cooling, a good tactic to employ is to minimize unwanted heat transfer. High-efficiency window installations, additional commercial insulation and new seals or weatherstripping can often be had for much less than the cost of a complete HVAC system upgrade. Homes and commercial buildings that are better able to retain heat or to maintain a cool and comfortable interior environment help to alleviate the strain being placed on their heater or AC.
4. Window Units and Portable Space Heaters
Well insulated environments aren’t the only way to reduce the demand placed on a central AC or furnace. Room and area-specific heating and cooling options can provide superior versatility and improved efficiency, often for much less than many property owners might expect to pay. Running a space heater or operating a ductless mini-split or window-mounted AC unit in order to adjust the temperature of a smaller area rather than the entire interior environment is a great way to cut back on electric use.
5. Minimizing Costs for Commercial Operations
Businesses and commercial structures tend to use far more water, power and other utilities than even a larger household. While this does mean higher bills, it also means that any changes that will help to curb energy waste or utility use will also produce greater savings. Replacing commercial insulation, installing fans to improve air circulation or even investing in exterior landscaping designs that may allow for more efficient heating and cooling by regulating exposure to sunlight could all result in greater monthly savings than many property or business owners might imagine.
Crafting an Energy-Savings Strategy
Every property is a little different and the effectiveness of various energy-saving tactics can differ tremendously from one situation to the next. Performing a comprehensive audit and learning more about the appliance options, new technology and other resources that can help owners to create and maintain a more energy-efficient and cost-effective home or business are essential initial steps in the process. Taking a long-term approach and revising past efforts in order to determine which upgrades are working and which may require further attention can also be helpful.
There are plenty of ways to save on monthly utility bills. Property owners would do well to make use of the best tactics in order to create an energy-savings strategy that works.