Tips for Lowering Your Energy Usage and Bills at Home
HEATING & COOLING
Energy Efficiency is in the air. Your heating and cooling system is the perfect place to start when making energy-saving changes
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Set thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and 68 degrees in winter
- Keep air vents open to increase circulation
- Use fans to cool your home
- Have your A/C and heating system serviced twice a year (during spring and fall)
- On a new A/C unit, look for a 16 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) and 12 Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)
- Clean or replace air filters once a month
With the proper insulation, you can keep your heating and cooling system from working overtime.
- Insulating your attic can reduce your heating and cooling needs up to 30 percent
- The minimum recommendation for insulation amount in most attics is r34 to r38
Conserve energy with the flip of a switch by choosing the correct lighting.
- Install compact fluorescent light bulbs or LED (lighting emitting diodes). They use approximately 70 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer.
- Use sunlight to illuminate your home. It's free!
Controlling air flow helps control your savings. Properly sealing air leaks can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs.
- Watch for these signs that your ducts aren't performing correctly:
- Rooms are difficult to heat and cool.
- You have stuffy rooms
- You find your flexible A/C duct is tangled or has holes in it
Seal air conditioning ducts properly to help reduce the amount of heating and cooling needed to keep your home comfortable
Install foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls to stop air form leaking.
DOORS & WINDOWS
Close the door on air leaks for good. By focusing on two of the top spots for gaps in your home, you'll be one step closer to an energy-efficient home.
- Weather-strip and caulk around windows and doors to prevent drafts. A gap of just 1/4 inch can let in as much air as a softball-size hole.
- Consider ENERGY STAR -qualified window models and low E-Glass windows. Their special coating will reflect infrared light, keeping heat in during winter and out during summer.
- A low-cost alternative to new windows is installing solar screens
Get plugged in to an energy-efficient home with appliances and electronics that are designed to conserve.
- Appliances and electronics can account for 20 percent of a home's electrical costs. Replace old appliances with ENERGY STAR-rated models.
- Unplug electronics when they're not in use. Certain electronics, such as a cell phone charger, continue to draw electricity when left plugged in - even if they're not in use
Shower yourself in savings by making small changes to your home's water system.
- Fix leaking faucets. They can cost you 20 gallons of water a day.
- Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save on water heating.
- Insulate the hot water heater and your heating and cooling pipes that are not in enclosed areas. It can reduce heat loss by 25 to 40 percent.
Trees are a natural solution for energy-efficient changes. Remember: When planting a tree, type and location are key.
- Proper tree placement can reduce home heating and cooling costs by 20 percent. Plant trees 35 feet from your house and 25 feet from power lines.
- Plant deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves). They will shade your house in summer, and help warm your home in winter by letting light through.
Radiant barrier foil products such as Energy Q can block 97% of the sun’s radiant heat. Radiant barrier paint products can block 70-75% of radiant heat. Applying these materials can add a comfort level to your home and lower your energy usage by keeping this heat out of your home
Solar Attic Fans
The temperature in an attic can get as high as 150 degrees during the summer. Attic fans work to pull this hot air out, helping to lower the temperature. The cooler the attic, the less heat there is to transfer to the conditioned part of your home. Solar attic fans can do this with no added energy cost.