6 Tips to Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Seal up your windows. Make sure your windows are tightly closed and locked. Put up window plastic to stop air mixing with the cooler temperatures of the glass. If you have the capital to invest, energy efficient windows are the way to go. They help eliminate air leaks, reduce condensation and keep your internal home temperature where you want it. Even better, they do all of this without sacrificing visibility through or the look of your windows.
Program Your Thermostat
Everyone suggests buying a programmable thermostat, but even with a standard one you can still set it intelligently. In the winter, the ideal temperature to heat your house is around 68 degrees. Any higher and you’re wasting power heating the air when you could wear a pair of socks instead. Conversely, setting the air conditioning to 78 in the summer keeps your home pleasantly cool without putting more power than necessary into keeping it that way.
Does your roof line with icicles in the winter? It gives your home a very picturesque appearance, but it should be worrying. Icicles form when heat escapes from the eaves and melts the snow on the roof, which freezes as it drips off. Adding fresh insulation to your attic will cut down on the lost heat.
Decrease Use of Appliances
Restrain yourself when using your appliances. Everyone will suggest buying energy star appliances, but not everyone can afford the investment. Using what you have sensibly can be just as effective at cutting down your bills. Wait until you have a full load of laundry or dishes before you use the machine. If you have the space, use a drying rack instead of the dryer.
Turn Off The Lights
Turning off the lights in every room you’re not using will help save some power. Likewise, replacing bulbs with CFLs or even LED bulbs will cut back on power usage drastically. Another way to cut back on passive power drain is to unplug anything you’re not actively using. Televisions, stereos, computers, device chargers and more all use power when they’re plugged in, whether or not they’re turned off.
Go on a cleaning spree. You might be surprised at how much smoother your home runs with less dust and clutter in it. Cleaning the lint trap in your dryer will make it run more smoothly and dry clothes faster. If your furnace filter is clogged up, it will have to work harder to heat your home. Even the condenser coils on your fridge can use a cleaning to make the appliance work more smoothly. Never underestimate the savings to be had from a good cleaning.
Peter Wendt is a writer and environmentalist living in Austin, Texas. Peter does anything he can to help the environment, especially when it comes down to the energy efficiency of his house. Peter has found that replacing old windows with energy efficient windows has made a huge impact on the energy spent by his home, as well as decreasing his electric bill.