As winter’s inevitable chill approaches, many New Yorkers are taking action to save money and reduce the amount of energy they need to heat and light their Manhattan condos. Any steps that reduce energy consumption are steps in the right direction whether your home is an Upper East Side condominium in Manhattan or an Upper East Side condo in Peoria. Most of these energy-saving measures are fairly inexpensive and pay for themselves in a couple of months or years. In addition, taking just one or two of these steps will result in noticeably lower utility bills, which can really inspire people to take action. Here are some easy and mostly inexpensive steps that anyone can take to save money and increase the energy-efficiency of their Manhattan condominium:
- Buy a programmable thermostat
This energy-saving step listed first can have the most positive and noticeable impact right away. Programmable thermostats are fairly easy to install and program and once they are set up, a Manhattan condo owner doesn’t have to adjust them until the weather changes. They only take minutes to program and since the average household spends somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of their energy bill on heating and cooling, it will pay for itself in no time and pay off in dividends for years. Also remember for every degree that a thermostat is lowered, you’ll realize savings between one and three percent on the heating bill.
- Seal air leaks in windows and doors
According to the Department of Energy, drafty windows and doors can result in the loss of between five and thirty percent of a Manhattan condo’s energy. If there are obvious gaps around the frames of windows and doors, fill them with caulk. If you’re feeling extra thrifty, use old socks or other rags and drive them into gaps with a butter knife. Our grandparents who lived through the Great Depression and our parents currently living through the Great Recession would approve.
- Change furnace filters regularly
Dirty air filters restrict airflow through your HVAC system and result in increased energy use. If purchasing a permanent filter (which removes far more particles) is out of the question, get into the habit of changing your air filter as a routine monthly chore.
- Reverse the direction of ceiling fans
Almost every ceiling fan has a switch that can reverse the direction of the fan blades, but people seldom use these fans in the winter, as they are associated with warmer weather. However, since heat rises, reversing the direction of a ceiling fan and putting it on its lowest speed will gently circulate heat through the whole condo silently and very effectively. This step alone can result in savings up to ten percent on a heating bill.
- Turn down and wrap the water heater
Many Upper East Side condo units do not have water heaters in each unit. However, if they do, the standard setting is 140 degrees. That means people are paying to keep their hot water at that temperature 24/7/365. Lowering the water temperature to 120 degrees can trim water-heating costs by six to ten percent. Wrapping the water heater with an insulating blanket designed for the job can pay for itself in a couple months and keep on saving money month after month.
- Consider investing in a new furnace
If your Manhattan condo has an older, inefficient furnace, investing in a new Energy Star-certified furnace will save as much as 50 percent on your heating bill. It may be a tough check to write up front, but bear in mind that you are making an investment that is guaranteed to save money and pay for itself in a few years.
- Sweaters and blankets
This one is self-explanatory. Sweaters and blankets are paid for once and cost nothing to use. A spokesperson for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that a Manhattan condo owner can save three percent on their heating bill for every degree of temperature that they set back their thermostat. To save money, condo owners should down their thermostat a few degrees, throw an extra blanket on the bed at night, wear a sweater and/or get under a blanket while relaxing at home.
The majority of these money- and energy-savings steps cost little or nothing, but when used in combination, they can result in big savings that go directly to your household’s bottom line. In good economic times or bad, it is always smart to cut costs wherever you can, whether you live in a posh Upper East Side condo, a modest bungalow or any other type of housing. The money you save might assuage your conscience a bit when you splurge on new windows to save even more money!
Author Resource:-> P. Davis writes about the amazing lifestyle in a Manhattan Condo or Upper East Side condominium. Her favorite, http://www.manhattanhouse.com is a restored condo residences in the hub of NY.
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