Many Youngstown residents are pleased that the price they pay for utilities is much lower than in other parts of the country. However, high rates for gas impact families nationwide. Moreover, low rates on utilities simply aren’t low enough for the numerous households operating on a skin tight budget. Add to this the fact that homes in Youngstown are often big and drafty and the severity of the need to save on energy costs in Mahoning Valley becomes quite apparent.
1. Consider Blocking Off Unused Space
Why pay to heat or cool more house than you really need? Moving to a smaller house isn’t always the right solution to the issue. Instead, consider closing off rooms, and even entire areas of your home that are unneeded. In my hundred-year-old 2,000 sq. ft.
Victorian-style home near YSU, I have the entire back end of the house sealed off now that winter has rolled in. It has helped lower the heating costs significantly.
2. Increase Interior and Exterior Insulation
When talks of insulation arise, many Youngstown homeowners start to stress out. These older homes simply weren’t made with insulation included, so homeowners may fear that adding in some requires a major renovation and expense. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Even carpeting counts.
A really low-cost method is to use plastic drop cloth, sealing off entire walls if need be, and then cover the plastic with fabric for even more added insulation, as well as nice décor. On the outside, there are several types of insulation, such as foam board and even hay, which can be put right over the exposed bricks of the foundation, or any other area that’s letting the cold in.
3. Check Out Eco-Friendly Home Energy Options
Mahoning Valley residents who are willing to spend a bit to save a lot might want to consider alternative energy sources. Youngstown has plenty of cloudy days, but there’s also many very sunny days and sometimes wind abounds. Consider adding a few solar panels to your property, or even a small wind turbine.
If you’re a really handy DIY type, you can build these yourself. If not, you can have a professional install your wind turbine or solar panel system. The cost can vary greatly depending on the person installing it, the size of the system, and so on.
4. Get Your Systems Inspected
A home energy efficiency inspection can help you save a lot of money on your energy bills. The expert will find out where the energy efficiency in your home can be improved. This includes things like locating the hidden sources of drafts and so on.
Such an inspection costs only around $50 for Dominion East Ohio customers who get it done through Atlanta-based GoodCents. Hiring a private contractor for the exact same job can run you about $350. An additional benefit to Dominion East Ohio customers who have a home energy efficiency inspection done is that they can get a rebate of more than $1,000.
5. Keep Up With the Times
Hopefully, you’re already aware of the incandescent light bulb phase-out in 2014. It’s been clearly coming for a long time because of the arrival of more energy efficient lighting, like halogen and LED. Staying on abreast of advancements in technology when it comes to home energy conservation is a great way to reduce your costs.
While the new light bulb legislation doesn’t make having incandescent bulbs against the law, it is encouraging households to make use of the new energy saving technologies. The result is a lower electricity bill for all.