5 Investments for Retirees to Save Money on Their Energy Bill
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When most people think about saving money, they think coupons, clearance sales, thrift shops, etc. But instead of focusing on finding ways to save money outside of the comfort of your home, we are going to look at ways retirees can save money right in your own home by cutting costs on your energy bill.
Now, you may be asking: “What are these home improvements?” Well, let’s find out! Here are five home improvements that can save retirees money.
#1 – Install a Programmable Thermostat
When used correctly, programmable thermostats have the ability to save you 10%-30% of your energy bill. These thermostats are designed for those who want to save energy when they’re not at home. If you’re someone who goes out often or you happen to live in an area where you are able to open the windows and turn off the air conditioning at night, this option is perfect for you!
Want to go one step further? If you are already replacing your thermostat to save money, consider installing a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can be controlled from your phone, whether you’re at home, work, or in New Orleans on vacation.
#2 – Buy More Insulation to Add to Your Home
This is one of the most overlooked ways for retirees to save on energy costs. It’s no secret–if you do not have sufficient insulation in your home, your home will continuously lose energy and money.
One of the biggest losses of energy from poor insulation is through the roof.
Even if the insulation in your home is newer, adding an extra layer of insulation to your attic space can drastically improve your home’s energy efficiency. A thicker layer of insulation in the attic alone can save a homeowner as much as $600 a year on their heating and cooling costs.
Investing in replacing, or simply adding insulation to your home can be a big money saver over time. Yes, insulation may be a bit expensive, but in the long run, it’ll pay for itself ten times over.
#3 – Have Energy Efficient Windows Installed
Window technology has come a long way since the handmade single pane glass of the pioneer days. Now there are windows that are specifically made to keep heat in during the winter, while also keeping out excess heat during the summer. And the more air conditioning your house is able to keep in, the less you’re forced to spend on using electricity to keep your house cool.
It gets better. Energy-efficient windows are very effective at conserving energy with their specialized design. Installing new windows, in general, can improve your home’s energy efficiency by sealing off any air leaks. Retirees looking for a long-term, money-saving solution should definitely consider replacing their old windows with new, energy-efficient ones.
#4 – Getting Solar Panels on Your Home
Like many long term investments, this option is rather expensive at first. But, installing solar panels really is an investment that can pay off if you live in an ideal area.
In fact, you may even be able to make money from having solar panels once the initial cost of their installation is paid off.
Although the “break-even point” of solar panels can take around 7 – 20 years, there are still a lot of incentives and programs that make going solar affordable for almost anyone. With good money management, making steady payments, and the tax breaks that come with using solar panels, they can be paid off in no time.
If you have a proper amount of sunlight on your home, and enough for a down payment, solar panels can be a great addition. And yes, solar panels can be installed on some mobile homes, just be sure to get them insured if you install them.
#5 – Buy Energy Saving Light Bulbs
It may seem insignificant, but something as simple as installing energy-efficient, LED light bulbs can save you money on your energy bill. Most light bulbs that are labeled as “energy-saving” are a little more costly than the standard light bulb that people typically buy. But don’t let those in-store prices fool you, they will save you money in the long run!
Energy-efficient light bulbs save money because they:
- Last 4 – 10 times longer than the average light bulb
- Use less power
- Produce less heat
Not only do energy-efficient bulbs last much longer, but they also use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional bulbs.
Go one step further by installing a timer on your outdoor lights. This can help cut the costs even more. If you are anything like me, you often flip on the outside light and forget about it. But for retirees looking to cut costs, that little outside bulb can cost $100’s over the decades. Simply installing a timer or motion sensor can save retirees money in the long run. A timer can also be used on any exterior lights that frame your lawn or garden.
Wrapping Things Up
By using these five tips, retirees can save a lot of money on their energy bills. Of course, there are also many other “in-home” bills that can be reduced in different ways. If you are looking to save even more money compare insurance rates for mobile homes and get the best deal! Also, be sure to keep up on general repairs and maintenance, both inside and outside your home. While some of these options are a bit more of an investment than others, in the long run, they are certain to save you money on your energy bill, or even pay some back!
Douglas Dedrick is a landscaper and home improvement writer at This American Lawn.