10 Energy Saving Tips
These tips will guide you on how to be more energy-efficient in all areas of your home. By following a few of these tips you can save time, energy, and money. Simple improvements will permit you to be more conscious of your energy bill, while also helping conserve the environment.
1. LED or CFL Light Bulbs
Did you know that the average American household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting alone? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, exchanging your home’s five most commonly used light fixtures with ENERGY STAR certified bulbs can save $45 annually. Eco-friendly light bulbs such as LED or CFL bulbs use 35-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs so switching to more environmentally conscious lighting options is not only good for your wallet, but good for the planet as well.
2. Smart Thermostat
Thanks to the technology revolution we’re experiencing, you can now control your thermostat remotely with the touch of a button. Smart thermostats are app-enabled smart home devices that allow you to adjust your thermostat from any Wi-Fi or cellular network enabled location. Homeowners can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning their thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. While this can be accomplished through a traditional programmable thermostat, smart thermostats eliminate any discomfort by automatically adjusting the temperature before you wake or return home for work, vacation, etc.
3. Programmable Thermostat
Alternatively, to a smart thermostat, a programmable thermostat is an affordable, eco-friendly temperature regulation option that can save you hundreds of dollars per year on your energy bill. Through a programmable thermostat, you can set a schedule for the times the heat or air-conditioning turns on and off to conserve energy while you’re away from home. Make sure you factor in season changes, vacations and weekends into your weekly heating and cooling schedules.
4. Early Tune Ups of HVAC System
Taking precautionary steps to ensure your home is ready for the new challenges of each season is an easy and cost-effective way to reduce your energy bill and carbon footprint. Getting your HVAC system tuned up biannually has been proven to generate better performance and lower energy consumption from your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition system. In a typical HVAC tune-up, a contractor will inspect your home’s thermostat, electrical connections, controls, coils, condensate drains, air filters, refrigerator and all other devices and systems related to environmental condition regulation.
Because HVAC systems are out of sight, maintenance often slips our minds until something breaks. Being proactive and regularly tuning up your HVAC system will extend your system’s longevity and save you thousands in early replacement and repair costs down the road.
5. Preserving Airflow
While HVAC tune-ups require a professional, there are steps you can take to maintain the integrity of your HVAC system on your own. Removing any debris or dust from your HVAC unit can return proper airflow to your home, decreasing the amount of energy your unit requires to regulate your home. To clean your outside HVAC unit, make sure to clean the condenser fins, fan, and coils which are located in your outdoor AC unit. By clearing your HVAC unit, you can reach optimal airflow so your system doesn’t have to work harder resulting in a lower energy bill.
6. Sealing Holes, Cracks, or Air Leaks
Air leakage is a common household problem that causes air to enter and exit your home through unsealed cracks and openings. Limiting the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home is a cost-effective way to cut heating and cooling expenses, improve comfort, and create a healthier indoor environment.
Caulking and weather-stripping are effective strategies to reduce air leakage as much as possible and provide controlled ventilation in your home. To accomplish this, simply caulk and weather-strip cracks and holes around doors, windows, and areas where electrical wiring or plumbing comes through the walls or floors. This will prevent conditioned air from leaving your home and unconditioned air from entering your home.
7. Turn off all Lights and Appliances when not in Use
Some energy saving tips are easier than others and this is one of the simplest but most cost-effective ways to reduce your energy bill. Some appliances in your home use power continuously when they’re plugged in, even when they’re not in use. Experts suggest that 5-10% of residential electrical bills are derived from these “energy vampire” appliances. Simply unplugging energy sucking appliances such as computers, televisions, Wi-Fi modems, cable boxes, and lamps when they’re not in use can save you anywhere from $100-$200 on your energy bill annually.
8. Unobstructed Vents
Simply removing furniture or large items from in front of your vents can save you a good chunk of change on your heating and cooling expenses. Allowing unobstructed airflow from your vents will allow for more optimal airflow while decreasing the amount of energy your HVAC requires to regulate your home’s temperature. Not only will this lower your energy bill, but it will also help to limit fire hazards in the home.
9. Replacing Air Filters Regularly
This is another precautionary measure that requires you to spend some money up front in order to save money on your energy bill in the long run. Air filters remove impurities such as dust, mold, pollen, and bacteria from your conditioned air. When these devices get clogged, it slows down your heating and cooling unit which wastes electricity. Regularly changing these filters is essential for protecting your HVAC system and optimizing your energy consumption.
Most professionals recommend replacing your air filters every 3 months. At roughly $10-$20 per air filter, that adds up to anywhere between $40-$80 annually. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, replacing dirty filters can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15% leading to substantial savings on your monthly energy bill.
10. Replace Old Appliances
Like most things in your home, your electrical appliances have a lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced. While replacing appliances can be pricey, old appliances are not very energy efficient, leading to more energy consumption and higher energy bills. Investing in ENERGY STAR certified efficient appliances can initially be very expensive, but they pay themselves off in a short-period of time due to the amount of money they save you on your energy bill.
Check out the infographic below for the highlights: