The energy efficiency of your home is influenced in large part by small steps. Some of these practices are as simple as turning off lights when you leave a room or unplugging appliances when not in use (many of these can siphon off small amounts of electricity even when powered off). And that’s just the beginning of a long list of areas where you can lower your energy costs.
Steps for This Winter
As a matter of fact, the National Association of Home Builders provides a number of tips for reducing energy consumption in your home over the next few months. These include:
- Minimize hot water use by taking shorter showers and washing your clothes in cold water.
- Use your dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
- Try setting your water heater at 120 degrees.
- Clean or replace heater and air conditioner filters regularly. Keep outside vents free of leaves or debris that may clog vents.
- Use kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans sparingly. They can blow away heated or cooled air.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless you have a fire going.
- When the heat is on, set your thermostat at as low a level as you feel comfortable. You save for each degree you lower the average temperature of your home.
- Keep windows near your thermostat tightly closed; otherwise it will keep your furnace working after the rest of the house is heated to the desired temperature.
- If you have oil heat, have the firing rate checked periodically.
- Dust and vacuum radiator surfaces frequently. Dust and grime impede the flow of heat.
- Keep draperies and shades open in sunny windows; close them at night.
- Keep your heating and cooling system well-tuned by a professional service person.
Since heating and cooling take up about half of your energy bills every year, the Department of Energy says that you can save about 30 percent on your energy bill when you take a “whole-house” approach that includes proper system maintenance, air sealing, recommended insulation installation and efficient thermostat settings. If you’d like our help, schedule an appointment or learn more about Absolute Climate Control here.