How To Save Energy at Home: 10 Tips for Homeowners

October 24, 2014
niki dube

Energy bills seem to be on the rise. To save money you’re going to have to save energy, but how? If each of the following tips saves you a few dollars each month, you’ll save big over the course of a year. The more tips you implement, the more you’ll save.

Close Your Doors and Windows

Unless the temperature outside is the temperature you desire indoors, keep the doors and windows closed. Also, when they’re closed make sure there aren’t any cracks or crevices where air might leak. You want the conditioned air to stay in your home and the harsh outdoor elements to stay outside. With doors and windows, saving energy can be as simple as adding some caulking or weather stripping.

Check Your Ductwork

Air ducts are the circulatory system in your home. In the same way you don’t want an artery in your body to spring a leak, you want to make sure your ducts are sealed properly. The goal is for conditioned air to travel through the ducts without encountering obstacles or detours. Gaps between air ducts, cracks in ducts or poorly sealed joints allow air to escape. To save energy, you have to keep the conditioned air under control. That means not allowing it to warm or cool your attic or crawl space. Seal, repair or replace bad ductwork and corral the conditioned air to rooms where you and your family live.

1307071_43724966Change Light Bulbs

Believe it or not, one of the simplest ways to save energy at home is to change out older incandescent bulbs for Energy Star bulbs. The bulbs use less energy and last longer. The cost difference more than pays for itself in the long run.

Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances

Appliances like heaters, air conditioners, ovens, hot water heaters, washers and dryers use the largest amount of energy in your home. By upgrading those appliances to Energy Star models, you’ll be using energy more efficiently.

Turn Off What You’re Not Using

It seems like common sense. Why light a room nobody’s in? Why air condition home during the workday? But there are smaller, less obvious ways you may be wasting energy. Unplug your phone charger. Turn off the printer. Unplug the sound system. If there is a light on the device indicating it’s “ready”, it’s already using energy.

Save Energy By Installing a Programmable Thermostat

Along the lines of turning off what you’re not using, consider installing a programmable thermostat. There’s no sense in paying to create a comfortable climate at home when nobody’s there. A programmable thermostat adjusts so that you save energy during the day. Five or six degrees adds up over time. Because the thermostat is programmable, you don’t have to remember to turn it up or down when you leave the house.

Add Insulation

If you live in an older DC home, chances are that you could use some more insulation. Recommended thicknesses and R values have changed over time. If you’ve plugged all the holes and your home still feels drafty, insulation will likely be your best investment. Add batts or blown-in insulation in the attic or spray foam insulation in exterior walls to prevent radiant heat exchange.

Additionally, consider insulating your hot water heater and your air ducts, too.

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Planting shade trees around your home will shield your home from the sun’s direct rays and keep your home cooler in the summer.

Utilize Curtains

If you have south facing windows that make your home too warm or old windows that are just drafty, use thick curtains to cover the windows and provide a layer of decorative insulation that saves energy and money.

Use Natural Light

Open the curtains during the day to allow natural light to fill your home. Skylights and natural lighting save the cost of electric lights during the day and make the home feel more open.

Saving energy at home is both budget friendly and environmentally friendly. If you want help with some of these tasks or if you have questions about additional ways to save energy at home, call Max Insulation. We’re here to help.

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