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August 20, 2010
Nobody wants to spend more money on bills than they need to. But, if you're not careful, a lot of money can be wasted due to unnecessary energy loss. We've compiled some easy and effective ways you can cut down on energy loss and save the money you work so hard to earn.
Control the temperature inside your home, whether you're home or away. If you're not using a programmable thermostat, you should consider it. Programmable thermostats are a great solution because you can set different temperatures for different times, depending on your comfort needs and schedule. Using one can help you save up to 25% or more in energy costs. Additionally, for every degree you lower your temperature in the winter and raise it in the summer, you'll see 2-3% in savings.
Close your blinds. Rooms without blinds, curtains or shades to block the sunlight will be warmer. In the cooler months, keep them open to allow the sun to naturally warm the room, and in the warmer times of the year, keep them closed. Adjusting your blinds or curtains while you are away can make maintaining a comfortable temperature easier for your air conditioner or furnace.
Turn down the temperature setting on your hot water heater. By design, traditional water heaters operate by regularly heating its tank of water for the next time you need it. For every 10 degrees you reduce the temperature settings on your water heater, you can see savings of 3-5%.
Install timers where you use vent fans. Most bathroom fans can remove moisture within 20 minutes. Timers help you avoid forgetting to turn them off.
Switch to energy efficient light bulbs, also known as CFLs. They use a fraction of the electricity of traditional incandescent light bulbs and, instead of lasting about 1,000 hours, they continue working for 10,000 hours or more. With CFLs, you consume less energy and need to replace bulbs less often.
Let your dishes air-dry. Eliminating the heat cycle when using the dishwasher will reduce your energy consumption and also keep from raising the temperature in your kitchen. Refrain from using the heat cycle, and instead when the wash has completed, crack the door enough to allow the dishes to air-dry on the rack before putting them away.
Clean the coils underneath or on the back of your refrigerator every so often with a vacuum. Dusty or dirty coils can cause the compressor to work harder than it needs to and this is an unnecessary waste of energy.
Have your furnace or air conditioner serviced to assure they are running at peak efficiency. Unexpected and costly repairs can mostly be avoided with regular tune-ups and maintenance. Professional maintenance makes sure the unit and all the components are running smoothly and efficiently.
Make sure airflow is not obstructed. Curtains, bedding, furniture and other items that block baseboards or registers make it difficult for your heating and cooling units to operate efficiently. Also, be sure to check your air filter or air cleaner every 30 days and change or clean as needed. When the airflow is obstructed, your HVAC system has to work that much harder to regulate the temperature to a comfortable level. The harder it works, the more energy is consumed, and the more it costs you.
Seal places where air could escape. Make sure cool, conditioned air isn't escaping through cracks or gaps in your windows or doors. Re-calk and check to see that your weatherstripping is doing it's job. Weatherstripping can be purchased for next to nothing at your local hardware store. Tight weatherstripping also prevents your home from penetration by moisture and pests.
While these are just a few easy ways to avoid unnecessary energy loss and save a little money, there are many more things you can do. If you are looking for additional ways to lower your energy costs, contact us. We have a team of qualified experts who specialize in helping you identify ways to conserve energy while staying comfortable.