Have you ever wondered if your home is as energy efficient as it can be? Everyone wants to make sure that they can save money on electricity and gas bills however they can. To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of several things that can assist in decreasing those utility bills.
You may already be doing some of these things in your home, and many of them you may have not even considered when it comes to managing your home’s energy efficiency! Some low cost immediate home investments can go a long way with making your home more energy efficient in the long term.
1. One of the first things that often surprises people is considering the accessibility of air vents. It is important that you don’t block air vents with any furniture or large items so that they can heat and cool your home with ease.
2. To keep rooms at that stable temperature, be sure to install door sweeps on the bottom of exterior doors. If you have old door sweeps that are cracking or twisting, replace them for fresh, more effective ones!
3. Another important consideration that should be a priority in energy efficiency is window seals. Every window should be sealed with rope caulk to avoid air escaping and those chilly drafts.
4. Ever wondered why sometimes your fridge seems to work harder in those summer months? Well, refrigerators and freezers should actually be placed away from anything that has a warm temperature, and this includes direct sunlight! Ensure the fridge is placed away from stoves and heat vents as well. All of these things will cause it to use more energy in order to stay at its desired cool temperature.
5. Simple alternatives and habits can go a long way as well. For example, using a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioning unit whenever possible will use much less energy.
6. Did you know there is an easy way to insulate your windows? Keeping the curtains drawn at night will create insulation and keep the interior of your home at your desired temperature, using less energy.
7. Adjusting the temperature overall so that it is a couple of degrees lower at night and while you are not at home during winter months (and the flip side of that for the summer - adjusting it a couple of degrees higher) can create drastic savings on your regular energy bills.
There are even some practical little things that can be done or bought that many people don’t realize can significantly improve your energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills.
8. Try unplugging your electronics when you are not using them. Electronics continue to draw power even when powered off. If you are having an extended leave from the home, unplug the electronics.
9. If you have ever wondered about “Energy Star” appliances, they are also a worthy investment. Choose appliances with this designation whenever possible. They will save you a lot of money over the course of each year and are worth spending a little bit extra to create lasting savings.
10. As for lighting, LED lights are a worthy investment. Did you know they use a third of the electricity of a normal bulb?! To go along with that, if you’re not in a room, turn off the light (your parents had that right!).
11. How about laundry? Sometimes it’s tempting to catch up on a little bit of laundry when we have free time and notice the hamper is beginning to get full. Wait! Using the medium setting on your washing machine is not energy efficient. It's worth the savings to wait until you have enough for a full load instead of doing multiple small loads. And there are a lot of other tips to help with your laundry:
- How about the temperature of the wash? Unless clothes are very dirty, avoid using hot water, plus cold water is easier on your clothing so it lasts longer.
- Hang clothes whenever possible instead of using the dryer.
- If you do use your dryer, clean the lint trap each and every time! Without cleaning the lint trap, it takes longer to dry your clothes and will therefore take more energy.
12. How about cooking? Using lids on pots and pans will not only allow the food to cook faster, but that will save energy that the stove is using to cook the food! And the main energy efficiency related difference between a convection oven and a convectional oven is that it uses 20% less electricity!
I hope we’ve been able to give you some ideas how to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Savings can add up over time, so while you may not see all the savings right away we promise you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of reducing those electricity bills in the long run.