Utility bills can be daunting depending on the home. The average household in the United States spends $2,100 annually on utilities. Taking cost-effective measures to improve the energy efficiency of a home is worthwhile in the long run. Following these simple tips can dramatically decrease the cost of a utility bill and save energy that impacts the earth.

Regularly Replace the Air Filter

Homeowners should check their air filters on a monthly basis. Dirty air filters inhibit the flow of air, and the filter has to work harder to heat or cool a home. The summer and winter are particularly harsh on air filters. Changing your filter every three months prevents allergens from entering your home and can save you plenty of money in the long run.

Unplug Appliances

Take a moment and think about how many outlets you really use in your home; the number might surprise you. All of these appliances and gadgets have a standby power mode, which is the state they are in when turned off but still plugged into an outlet. Appliances in standby mode can account for up to 10% of energy usage in the home. To save energy and money, unplug accessories and gadgets when not in use.

Turn off the Lights

Remembering to turn of all your household lights can save 10-20 percent of your overall electricity usage. If you aren’t in the habit of turning off lights, try writing little reminders on sticky notes next to the switch until you get the hang of it. Whenever there is adequate natural light in your home during the day, turn off the lights. Natural light can be calming and make the house cooler. Remember, standard incandescent lights usually produce more heat than actual light, which alters the temperature of your home.

Insulate

Add insulation to your walls, ceilings, and attic. Insulation reduces the rate that heat flows in and out of the house, allowing you to save more energy. In addition to saving on utilities, insulation provides noise reduction, pest control, and stops pollen and dust from entering the home. Also, seal air leaks by caulking around windows and install weather stripping to your doors. Sealing and insulating combined can save up to 10% on the average utility bill.