19 Tips & Tricks for Home Energy Savings
Learn more about some tips and tricks for home energy savings in spring, summer, winter and fall!
1.Set your thermostat closer to the outside temperature
This one has probably been told to you many times. In the winter, the more your family can use blankets and jackets, the better it is for your energy bill. If you need to increase the temperature, it helps to do it slowly, so the peak in the thermostat doesn’t cause extra expenses. If you’re leaving the house for a few hours, turn it down even lower.
2.In the winter, utilize the sun
The sun can really help heat your home. Consider using solar heat to help your normal heating source, but if not, just leave window shades or blinds open to help heat your house. It also helps to have your ceiling fans spin at a low speed, but clockwise in the winter.
3.In the summer, do the complete opposite
If the sun is helping keep your house warm in the winter, the last thing you want to have in the summer is more heat. Switch your fans to turn counterclockwise and open interior doors to help air circulation throughout your house. Try planting some trees on that sunny side of the house for better shade protection as well.
4.Insulate your house
Injected foam insulation or insulating your basement or attic will help you save energy by keeping hot outside air from seeping through porous block walls or keep warm air in. You can also use rugs on bare floors to help keep your house insulated.
5.Make sure you have the proper insulation for your house
Consider things such as your climate, weather, home design and budget when looking at the right types of insulation for your home. This includes keeping foam away from recessed light fixtures and choosing the right R-value depend on where in the home it’s going to go.
6.Consider investing in spray foam
While known for being more expensive, you can potentially save of as much as 20% on heating and cooling costs. Foam insulation R-values range from R-4 to R-6.5 per inch of thickness, which is up to 2 times greater than most other insulating materials of the same thickness. This means, it can be used on exterior walls and in cathedral ceilings to get more insulation with less thickness.
7.Spray foam has many more benefits than just being cost effective, too
•Blocks air infiltration
•Creates a sound barrier
•Expands to fill gaps
•Permanent, meaning doesn’t sag or settle
•Seals the crawl space
•Closed cell Increases structural integrity
•Acts as an air barrier
•Inhibits mold, mildew and bacterial growth
8. Use your resources!
By talking with a contractor, they can help you figure out exactly what changes in insulation you may need to make. They will help you figure out what kind of installation (in terms of foam installation, this can mean open-cell foam or closed-cell foam), where to install, and what kinds of non-foam or foam installation products you can use.
Once a month is what is recommended to keep your systems running in the best shape.
10.Keep exterior doors and windows shut
The better doors and windows seal, the better they insulate your house. Try not to keep doors or windows open for extended amounts of time to prevent warm air from entering (in the summer), or leaving (in the winter).
11.Plug electronics into a power strip
By turning the entire strip off when you’re not using it, it can help you reduce the cost of your electric bill.
12.Switch your light bulbs
If you haven’t already! Many stores now offer energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs that not only last nine years, but also use 75% less energy while still providing you with ample light.
13.Be mindful of appliances
In the summer, using your oven or letting your dishwasher dry dishes heats up your house, and forces your AC to work harder to cool the kitchen back down. Try heating food up with a microwave or toaster oven, or stop and open your dishwasher to let your dishes air dry.
14.Be mindful of your loads
Don’t run the dishwasher for one plate or the washing machine for a small load. Try and make the most out of a washing cycle, and if you have to do small loads, try and use less water.
15.Clean your appliances
Next time you are dusting the house, dust the back of your refrigerator. Keep the lint screen clean after every load. Each time your clean an appliance, it’s helping it run better, longer.
16.Wash clothing with cold water:
the detergent works just as well, and you’ll save 40 cents per load.
17.Make sure the timing is right
Consider buying a timer for your lights and/or water heater. By creating a schedule on when to turn on lights or heat your water, it saves you energy in making sure things aren’t running the background or one while you are gone or asleep.
18.Give your home a break
When you’re on vacation, give your house one too. Turn the thermostat to 60 degrees. Turn your water heater off (don’t worry, it’ll only take about an hour to reheat the water back up). Turn off all electronics.
19.Benefits vs Cost
Upgrading windows can be expensive. Spraying your roof with foam insulation can cost less and offer more advantages.