Home Energy Efficiency Tips
Saving energy in the home can help you keep costs down. In many cases, energy efficiency is the result of proper maintenance. Not only will your home be more energy efficient — but also less vulnerable to some hazards and insurance claims.
Maintain an energy efficient home
There are countless things you can do around your home to cut back on your energy consumption. Here are a few suggestions you might want to consider.
Heating your home
Heating is one of the major energy consumers in the home. No matter what kind of system you have, the following tips will help keep your home heating energy consumption in check.
- Keep the heat in! Improve your home’s insulation and make it more airtight while ensuring there is proper ventilation. Caulking and weather stripping are inexpensive ways to reduce air leakage from your home.
- Open the drapes/blinds and let the sun in during the day to help warm the home and close them when the sun goes down.
- Regular maintenance of your heating system is important for both efficiency and safety. Make sure it is done once a year.
- Clean or replace your furnace filter at least every three months during the heating season.
Improving air circulation
- Make sure nothing — such as furniture, televisions or curtains — is blocking your heating vents.
- Use ceiling fans to help circulate heat throughout the house. One placed near a gas fireplace will push valuable hot air down into the living area.
- Keep your basement fairly warm. The heat will rise to the other levels of your home.
- Close the chimney damper whenever you’re not using the fireplace.
- Vacuum dust and pet hair out of your warm air registers.
Installing a programmable thermostat may save you money on your heating bill. Lowering the thermostat at bedtime and before leaving the house reduces your energy consumption without affecting your comfort.
Traditional wood fireplaces draw valuable heat out of the house, while gas fireplaces with sealed units maximize heat use. Tightly fitted glass doors and outdoor air intakes help improve fireplace efficiency.
- Clean your room air conditioner filter at least once a season. A dirty air filter is less efficient and may damage the unit.
- A poorly functioning air conditioner should be serviced immediately: leaking refrigerant is very harmful to the environment.
Stop the dripping! Dripping faucets waste water. Hot water from a dripping tap could fill more than 15 bathtubs in a month!
In the kitchen
- You can save on cooking energy costs when you use a microwave oven instead of conventional oven — and you don’t add unwanted heat to your kitchen. Similarly, a toaster oven uses much less energy than a conventional oven. Make sure air can circulate freely around it; this makes it even more energy efficient.
- For maximum efficiency, use the right pot size for the stove element you are cooking on. Use lids on your pots to keep in heat and reduce cooking time.
- Electric kettles heat water more efficiently than stovetop models. Cleaning your kettle with boiling water and vinegar removes mineral deposits that reduce its energy efficiency.
- Use your gas barbecue in hot weather to avoid heating up your home.
- Don’t keep the water running while you are washing or rinsing dishes.
- Buy energy-efficiency appliances. Look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol.
In the bathroom
- Opt for a bathroom fan with automatic humidity sensors. The fan runs long enough to remove excess moisture and then turns itself off to save electricity.
- Consider installing low-flow showerheads
In the laundry area
- When using the washing machine, always adjust the water level to the size of your load.
- Wash your clothes in cold water and save on the energy used (which goes toward heating water).
- Use a longer spin cycle for heavier items.
- Make sure to clean the lint filter on your dryer before each use.
- Remove lint buildup from around the exhaust area.
- Skip the dryer altogether and hang your clothes to dry.
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