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A new year means time for New Year’s resolutions. And, a number of Americans will promise to take better care of themselves, quit smoking or slim down after overindulging throughout the holiday season. But what if you could also slim down your home’s annual utility bill?
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a family’s annual energy bill is approximately $2,100. By making some simple behavior changes and opting for energy-efficient products, you and your family can reduce your annual energy bill (and subsequently your greenhouse gas emissions). Now there’s a promising resolution!
Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling accounts for approximately 45 percent of the energy used in your home.
Twenty-nine percent—nearly $630—of a homeowner’s bill goes to heating. To help reduce your heating bill:
- Check your air filter on a monthly basis. During heavy-use months, such as winter and summer, the filter may need to be changed monthly. At a minimum, it should be changed every three months.
- Schedule pre-season tune ups with HVAC professionals to ensure your equipment is performing in top shape. Dirt and neglect are top causes of heating-system failure.
- Install a programmable thermostat that allows you to “set it and forget it” based on your family’s activity pattern. Per the DOE, turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating bill.
- Replace screen with storm windows to help block the cold outside air.
When it comes to cooling, a homeowner spends almost $275 annually. Your family can experience more efficient cooling by implementing the following:
- Put an end to overheated spaces with ENERGY STAR®-qualified windows, which can save you 7 to 15 percent depending on your product selection.
- Keep air vents clear.
- Purchasing a new cooling unit? Whether a whole-home or single-room cooling solution, select ENERGY STAR®-qualified models, which can reduce your monthly utility bills.
Water heating is the second largest energy expenditure after heating and cooling. In fact, the average household spends between $400-$600 each year on water heating. One way to cut down on your water-heating bills is a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater. Unlike its traditional storage tank counterpart, a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater only heats the water as it’s needed and shut down when the demand for hot water ceases, so they use less energy—up to 40 percent—and produce an endless supply of hot water. In addition, tankless units offer a longer lifespan than tank water heaters as well as space savings; plus, they are ENERGY STAR® qualified. Together, these attributes make tankless technology the superior source for hot water.
Rinnai offers homeowners the chance to preview potential water-heating savings with its Energy Savings Calculator.
ENERGY-STAR-qualified appliances are a win-win-win. They save energy, money and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, they are engineered with advanced technologies that saved between 10 and 50 percent on energy and water usage compared to standard appliances. When it comes time to buying or replacing older appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washers and dryers, selecting an ENERGY STAR® option just makes sense.
A Few More Ways…
- Have a dehumidifier? Unplug it when it’s not in use. This tips works for all electronics. In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics (and appliances) is consumed when the product is turned off.
- Screen savers don’t actually reduce the energy used by computer monitors. Turning your computer to sleep mode or completely off saves more energy.
Making small adjustments and changing up a few behaviors can have a significant impact on your annual utility bill. And this year, these small actions can help your home slim down.