Now that winter is upon us, do you dread another season of sky-high heating and electric bills? Although you may blame this on inflation and other factors that are out of your control, as a homeowner, you have control over how efficiently your home uses energy.
To use power more efficiently so you save on your bills, you must be aware of your level of energy consumption. You have to examine your habits and the function of your appliances to figure out where and why the loss is happening. Whether you do it yourself, seek professional help, or a little of both, the following tips can significantly reduce your energy costs while making your home more comfortable and environmentally friendly.
- Hire a professional to audit your energy consumption. This will enable you to understand your appliance usage and determine where the loss occurs.
- Conserve Lighting. Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, and use a dimmer switch or motion sensors.
- Reduce temperature setting. Lowering your thermostat even by one degree can make a difference. Experts recommend 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Control your heat use in each of your rooms with a programmable thermostat. If still drafty, hang drapes and blinds to retain heat. Use cold water for laundering whenever possible.
- Disconnect appliances not in use. Power, although at a lower level, still surges; thus, energy is still in use. Use a power strip that is easier to turn off when not in use. Unplug items not constantly in use, such as toasters, blenders, and blow dryers.
- Avoid overcharging your electronic devices. When your phone is 100% charged yet still connected to the charger, the electricity is still running.
- Keep appliances clean for better usage. Getting rid of dirt, dust, and grime can help them operate more effectively. Periodically update your refrigerator, microwave, and other equipment as needed.
- Weather-proof your windows and doors. Check weather strips and sealing to prevent heat escape. Install storm doors for your front and back. Glass prevents thermal loss.
- Use good insulation. It is especially important to use quality materials for your roof and heating ducts. Also, proper insulation of an attached garage will help keep heat from escaping. Air seal any cracks, gaps, and leaks. Provide extra insulation in older homes.
- Pay attention to above and below you. Ceiling fans can ensure better air circulation in summer and winter, so that heat and cool air are evenly distributed. Providing suitable floorings, such as vinyl or carpeting, can help reduce heat loss.
- Use energy-saving and low-usage technology and equipment. Use energy-saving modes when running your washing machine, dishwasher, and dryer. Turn off the heated dry setting on your dishwasher. Install low-water usage taps and showerheads. The less water you consume, the less energy you heat it. It’s also good practice to only run full loads, so you are not wasteful.
- Look for alternatives to heat water. Solar or geothermal water heaters are the most economical.
- Service your heating system. All systems accrue wear and tear with daily usage. Periodic servicing can keep them running efficiently. Clean and replace all filters.
Cut your energy costs and live more comfortably by taking some time to incorporate these adjustments. By carefully maintaining your household appliances, cutting waste, and consistently practicing conservative habits, you will see your energy usage and dollars well spent. You may have to incur some expenses to get there, but you will make your home more energy efficient in the long run.