Americans spend $130 billion each year on wasted energy. Energy wastage not only takes a bite of out of your wallet but also harms the environment by producing unnecessary greenhouse gasses and pollution. If you're concerned that your home is an energy pit, here are four telltale signs that you're using too much.
Your Bills Are Too High
The first and most obvious sign that your home is wasting energy is that your monthly utility bills are higher than they should be. Many power companies include a chart on your bill or through their website that shows how your home's energy usage stacks up against the average and against homes similar to yours. If your utility provider doesn't offer this service, give them a call or compare your bill to neighbors with similarly sized homes.
You Wait for Hot Water
If you're like most homeowners, you turn on your shower or sink faucet and wait for ice-cold water to warm up. All those gallons of water going down the drain add up over time, but there are two effective solutions. One option is to hire a plumber with water heater installation experience to swap out your old tank for a new tankless model, which is the most efficient type of water heater on the market. An easier and less expensive solution is to install a recirculating pump in your existing unit.
Your HVAC Runs Constantly
The hum of your HVAC unit means your home is staying comfortably warm or cool, but it shouldn't be running all the time. If you almost never hear silence from your heating or cooling system, that means the unit is having trouble keeping up and constantly using energy. You may need to replace the unit with a larger one or improve your home's insulation. You can also consider a more efficient type of unit like a heat pump system.
You Have Energy Vampires
What's scarier than a blood-sucking monster? An energy-sucking appliance. You may not realize that your coffee maker, television or toaster is sucking power even when the off switch is flipped. Slay these energy vampires by unplugging them when not in use or use power strips that you can switch off to cut the electricity supply.
Remember, your home isn't the only source of wasted energy in your life. Consumer products are also a large contributor, so choose low-waste materials like recycled products, paper and cardboard over those that use more energy to produce.