Saving Energy – Closing Ducts Of Unused Rooms
If you have central air conditioning, you will see that outlets in each room have flaps. Closing the flaps in the rooms you are not using will save heating or cooling that space, thus reducing the load on air heater/conditioner and obviously, reducing the energy consumption considerably. As showed in previous post, if your house is 2000 sq ft and your ceiling height is 10 ft and if your utility bill is 400$ per month (with electric heater), then your heating bill is about 200$ per month. For about 20,000 cubic feet you spend 200$ per month. That comes to 1c per cubic foot. If you shut down flaps of one bedroom you don’t really use, (say about 150 sq feet), you are saving about 1500 cubic feet from getting heated. Over a month, this saves you about $15.
The above calculations do not apply for natural gas heating. Nonetheless, you are better off with saving energy any time.
Yes, this comes with some inconvenience. Some rooms in your house will stay cold. But usually a room with well placed vents takes about 15 minutes to get heated to bearable temperature once you open up the vents.
Other than the above, have you exploited all other options of saving heat that goes in your house? The importance of insulation and stopping leaks cannot be overstressed. If you are not using fireplace, make sure the vent of fireplace is closed. Make sure the windows are properly sealed. Make sure attic is insulated.
Some discipline and some small , uninteresting, not-visually-stimulating improvements in your home like above will make so much difference in long run that you will be surprised if you are keeping proper accounts. Assuming your home loan is $200,000/15 yrs and you are paying approx 1500/month on mortgage payment. Then reducing utility bill from $500 to $400 amounts to refinancing your house from 6% loan to 5% loan. Of if you decided to put that money in savings account, then at the end of 20th year, you would be sitting on a cash pile of $41,000 Rs.
If your stock pays you dividend of $15, then you actually end up pocketing only about 10-12$ depending on your tax bracket. But if you save $15 in utility bills, the saving is all yours to keep. A penny saved is a penny earned? Wrong. A penny saved is in fact 1.2-1.4 pennies earned.