Homeownership! Just letting it roll off your tongue feels like you have made it especially if you are a first time home buyer. I took the plunge four years ago and it has been a crazy adventure. Typical pros and cons are there, but it was not until recently when I began to dig deeper as of why my energy bill was always so sporadic and expensive did I begin to see homeownership in a different way. On top of that, I am a single parent so the anxiety elevates when I hear of the things that this particular industry will do to keep you spending more of your money.
In the midst of all this “CRAZY” I have a “Jack of All Trades” electrician in my network! He has made things clear to me and it is that Preventative Maintenance is key. I love sharing things with others that make a positive difference in our lives so the next few paragraphs will include some amazing tips and tricks (from myself and my handyman) to make your wallet fatter and lessen that energy bill.
1. Join the Entergy Solutions Program
Since I am a resident of Arkansas I have benefitted a great deal from this! Note: This program caters to AR, LA, MS, NOLA & TX residents only so you may have to research your local electric company’s programs and incentives. Once you click the link above (seen in the light olive color) you will be taken to the website to register. You will be given insight on things you can do such as replacing the types of bulbs you use to how to set your thermostat for times when you are away from home. The site allows you to check off your progress and as your usage drops your points accumulate and soon you are able to choose gift cards to some great stores! I have gotten $10 to $25 gift cards for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target and Home Depot. There are over 10 types of gift cards to choose from.
2. Set Up an Appointment with Energy Misers
It wasn’t until 3 years ago that I discovered that Entergy had a program that we already pay for in our monthly billing that sends out Energy Misers at no extra cost!!! What? Yes, this is correct. If you call Brenda at 877-571-4203 and please tell her that Khaliah Coleman sent you she will schedule your appointment. Energy Misers will come in and for 2 and a half hours run an efficiency test to find out where you could be losing energy in your home, seal windows, install weatherstripping, seal ductwork and air vents as well if needed. It was unfortunate, but on a new build like mine, they had to do all of that in my home because I assume this does not come standard on a Raush Coleman Home! The beauty of it is that you will begin to lower your energy bill and those Entergy Reward Points get you one step closer to a nice gift card.
“Did you know that HVAC companies are cutting corners by not installing CrankCase Heaters on compressors…saving them thousands of dollars annually and placing that cost on us, the homeowner?”
3. Follow the 20 Degree Rule and Keep Your Fan set to “ON” in the Summer
Recently, my handyman had to come over and do an annual clean up on my HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) Compressor…that’s the metal Air-Conditioning System that spins outside of your home. He told me that once it hits Summer which it has already, that I should turn the thermostat’s fan to “ON”, the unit to cool and keep the inside temperature at least 20 degrees cooler than it is outside. If temps reach 100 degrees or you are gone for the day turn thermostat to 79 degrees and that keeps the compressor from spinning and working hard all day, the fan will do the work to keep cool airflow on the inside and your bill is going to be trimmed by possibly $60/month (this is only an estimate). I personally have seen tremendous savings since incorporating this trick.
Servicing my compressor thoroughly, was the goal so he took the lid off only to discover that I had a missing crankcase heater and my contactors were worn (contactors should be changed every 5 yrs). Did you know that HVAC companies are cutting corners by not installing CrankCase Heaters on compressors saving them thousands of dollars annually and placing that cost on us, the homeowner? Yes, it’s true and when the oil in the compressor is filled with form because the refrigerant is coming in as a liquid instead of a gas it can cause major problems that will damage your compressor costing you $800 or more in repairs! Now you know why this was so important for me to share. He quickly installed a new heater to prevent this type of issue. This tip is extremely long so I am considering doing a video on it that goes a bit further in detail.
4. Join the Summer Advantage Program
This is an additional|optional program that Entergy offers to its customers. You sign up, schedule a time to have a device install|attached to your AC System and during high energy usage Entergy can control your compressor through a wireless signal and shut it down. However, what happens is your compressor hasn’t run during the hottest part of the day and the fan is not on and you enter a hot home. I signed up for this program in 2014 and I got my bi-annual $40 checks as promised, but when my handyman saw that device…He. Had. A. Fit. I immediately scheduled for them to come and remove it and they fought tooth and nail to keep me in the program. I can already see a huge difference in savings with my current bill only being $50 for the month when I am normally paying $80 or more so I don’t miss this program much at all and I would not recommend it. My best advice would be to listen to my expert, but of course, choose what works best for you!
5. Last, but not least…GET SOLAR PANELS
Yes, wouldn’t the earth be in a much better place if we could all drop $16,000 on solar panels?! I have a business acquaintance that did just that! I mean with tax credits up to 30% from Uncle Sam that tax return looked great at a whopping $6,000 return on top of other deductions! In the long run that will definitely pay for its self. While you must stay on the grid with the electric company your bill can possibly be as low as $10 bucks!!! Now that’s the way to fatten your wallet!!! I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but just know I am working towards solar panels.
I hope that these tip and tricks are something that can benefit you and your household whether you’re in an apartment or home. I would love to hear from you as well! How are you saving on your energy bill? Do you already use some of the tips I listed? Will you put in place some of the tricks listed and do you have tips and tricks that I did not mention? Share them and let us know how you make it work!