Energy Savings Beyond Your Home – The Garage & Outside

Frugality at Home: Part 7 - The Garage & Outside

frugal-garage

Saving money on running your home does not stop at the front door; your garage and outside contribute to your overall costs. For those who really understand the frugal living policies, extra savings outside can add up, and help reduce the total running costs of your home.

  • Collect rainwater to water plants and lawn - Keeping your garden green during the summer months often entails utilising the hose pipe and the sprinkler. However, this can send your water meter into overdrive and bulk out your bills. Collect your rainwater in large butts placed under gutters, and use this to water your plants. It has the added bonus of being mineral rich. Savings will depend on the amount of rain you can collect, so are dependent on where you live, but it is estimated that 50% of our water usage in summer is outside.
  • Check the exterior of your home for air leaks - Sealing the inside of your house is one thing, but many people overlook the exterior of their homes. Your exterior walls could be a leaky cauldron, especially around openings for water spigots, air conditioner hoses, dryer vents and gas pipes. Use caulk or expanding foam to seal spaces, and contribute to the 20% energy saving sealing air leaks will give you.
  • Use low-voltage lighting kits outside - You need lighting outside to light walkways, patios and decks, but not to undertake any complicated projects. Therefore your lighting does not have to be bright. Switch to low-voltage lighting or energy efficient bulbs. Alternatively, install solar lighting which once is in place will cost you nothing to run. Options these days include spot and floodlights, with motion sensors, or pick more muted options to light your walk ways. Each energy saving bulb you swap to will save you several dollars per year and if swapping to solar the savings are higher still.
  • Consider an automatic light in your porch - If you tend to leave your porch light on all night by switching to an automatic motion sensor light could save you several dollars per month.
  • Insulate your garage to cut cost of controlling the heat - Your garage is not known for its warmth in the winter or coolness in the summer; in fact, it is probably a big drain on your energy resources. However, by insulating it, sealing up the air leaks, and choosing a well-insulated and fitted garage door could save you $200-$300 a year in energy costs.
  • Get rid of strip lighting in your garage - Install energy efficient lighting instead. Tube lighting throws the light onto the ceiling and creates four times more heat than an average bulb. Cut the costs by swapping to energy efficient light bulbs in your garage.

When you are completing your energy makeover the frugal living way, don’t forget how your garage and outdoors can affect the overall story. Invest a little time and cash now to create ultimate savings in the years to come.