At any time of year, no matter the temperature, there are always ways to save energy in your home.
And it’s never too early to start thinking ahead to the next seasonal change and preparing your home to be more energy-efficient. Doing so doesn’t have to be a complete system overhaul. In most cases, there are small changes you can make that can significantly reduce your energy costs.
Here are 12 energy-saving ideas to help cut back on your energy costs:
1. Install programmable thermostats.
You can lower the temperature in your house when you’re out at work and set it to increase before you come home so the house is warm when you walk through the door. You can use the thermostat in the same way (but in reverse!) with the air conditioning.
2. Keep the temperature in your home consistent.
Don’t lower the temperature too much overnight or when you’re out for the day – you’ll use exponentially more energy bringing it back up to temperature than you saved keeping it low. How much is too much? Honeywell, manufacturer of some of the most popular thermostats on the market, recommends turning the dial down no more than 7 degrees for 7 hours at a time to maximize your energy savings.
3. Check for drafts.
Run your hand around the edge of doors and windows to see if air is getting through. Re-caulk the frames if necessary, add a draft skirt to a door, and consider installing energy-efficient double- or triple-glazing.
4. Prepare piping.
Make sure your hot-water pipes and hot-water tank are well-insulated to ensure you’re using your heating system in the most efficient way.
5. Look into your lighting.
Check your bulbs and swap out traditional light bulbs for long-life energy-saving bulbs. Always turn off lights in an empty room. If you prefer a light on when you return home, invest in a timer to turn lights on just before you arrive.
6. Turn off electronics when they’re not being used.
Did you know that when you hit the ‘off’ button on the remote, your television isn’t actually turned off? It goes into ‘standby’ mode and is still using energy. Same with a computer in ‘sleep’ mode. So what can you do? If you’re not watching or working, don’t just put the device “to sleep.” Shut it down or turn it off at the wall.
7. Close those shades.
In summertime when the sun and temperature are high, close your shades to reduce warming your home with solar heat, and open them on sunny winter days to increase solar heat. Just remember to close those curtains at night in the winter to keep the cold out!
8. Switch the screens.
Swap out screen doors and window screens for storm doors and storm windows before winter hits.
9. Clean your heating and cooling fixtures.
Cleaning your radiators, baseboard fins, the coils in your AC system, and your heating and AC filters will help those fixtures operate more efficiently.
10. Invest in regular maintenance.
Having your heating and cooling systems cleaned annually by a qualified technician will ensure those systems are operating as efficiently as possible, and you’ll avoid any sudden problems at a time when you need them most.
11. Close off the chimney.
To avoid unnecessary cold air flowing into your home, close the damper in your chimney when you’re not using the fireplace. You can also put a covering across the fireplace to further block any air.
12. Insulate Attic Openings.
Thoroughly insulate your attic, especially around areas that may be drafty.
Making some or all of these small changes will reduce your energy costs and help your home run far more efficiently when keeping you warm or cool. And remember, before reaching for the “up” button on the thermostat this winter, reach for that bulky sweater in the closet instead!
As always, if you have questions about the home energy solutions offered by Lamprey Energy, please reach out to us directly at 603-964-6703.