PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Cutting your energy costs – it’s a relentless pursuit. The average American household spends $2,200 a year on home energy bills, and plenty of people pay more.
The growing number of electronics in your home is pushing those figures even higher, but there are ways to save. Consumer Reports has some tips on how to avoid “energy wasters.”
“Start with your electronics; powering them can cost nearly as much as powering your kitchen appliances,” says Dan DiClerico, of Consumer Reports.
More than a third of homes now have multiple computers and half have three or more televisions. However, you may not realize that this is a major energy guzzler – your TV set-top box. That plus a high-definition DVR can actually use more energy than some refrigerators.
“One way to save: ask your cable company for a new box that meets Energy Star’s 3.0 standards,” DiClerico says.
Another money saver is setting your computer to sleep or hibernate when you’re not using it.
“Along with electronics, appliances account for 30 cents of every dollar you spend on electricity,” DiClerico adds.
For more savings, experts say when you’re buying a new appliance, you should look for one with the Energy Star logo. The program has recently gotten stricter.
Also, always look to cut your heating and cooling costs, which account for around 40 percent of typical energy use.
“The most effective way to do this – insulate your attic, make sure your ductwork is properly sealed and eliminate any air leaks,” says DiClerico.
Making changes like this can add up to an average savings of $500 a year.
One final tip, Consumer Reports says many attics don’t have enough insulation. Cellulose insulation should be at least eight-inches thick and fiberglass or rock wool at least 11 inches.