Every year, the average American family spends approximately $1,500 on energy bills, according to the Department of Energy. While you can't control how much heat and air conditioning you'll need, you can control the bill you'll receive in the mail with the help of a few easy energy-saving tips.
We asked Julie Edelman, “The Accidental Housewife,” for her tricks to reducing energy costs without paying a huge amount up-front. She has three ideas:
1. Buy a temperature reader
Edelman suggests buying a laser temperature reader. She uses a Milwaukee Laser Tempgun Thermometer, which she calls “the Rolls-Royce” of temperature readers, but there are many other models. By pointing the reader at the doors and windows in your home, you can find out how much energy is escaping based on the difference between the temperature of the doors and windows and that of the inside of your home.
2. Insulate electrical sockets
“These are a major energy sucker,” Edelman says of electrical outlets, explaining that air easily passes through sockets that are located near the outside of the house. She recommends buying a kit like this one at your local hardware store, which comes with foam rubber insulators you can put behind your switch plates to block heat and air conditioning from seeping out.
3. Make a draft buster
A great project for your children, Edelman suggests using old socks that no longer have a match to create “draft busters” that you can place in front of doors and windows. “What you want to do is get rice and have your kids fill these socks up. Put them at the bottom of your doors or window sills.”