With home heating and energy costs on the rise, many homeowners are looking for innovative and more efficient ways of heating their homes during the winter, keeping them cool in the summer, and above all, keeping their energy bills to a minimum. There are many things, very simple things, that can be done by most homeowners interested in lowering their energy costs. Save energy in your home this season and keep some of that green in your wallet with these simple, effective, and efficient tips.
Windows and Doors
Make sure all doors and windows seal completely and tightly. Leaky windows can wreak havoc on your heating bills. If you are able to make home improvements, consider investing in energy-efficient windows and doors. If you are not interested in replacing old windows, you could also consider using a simple, seasonal window sealing to stop heat from leaking out or drafts from getting in. Insulting window treatments can also help reduce leakage.
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Efficient lighting and energy-saving habits may greatly reduce your home energy costs. Don’t leave lights on unnecessarily; when there is nobody home or in the room. Setting an automatic timer to turn lights off may be very helpful for those who are guilty of forgetting to turn of those lights. Energy-efficient light bulbs and LED lighting have become commonplace and easily accessible; consider taking the time to change out all the lighting in your home for efficient lighting and you may be pleasantly surprised with the savings.
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Home heating and cooling costs account for the largest chunk of most energy bills. Properly sealed doors and windows will certainly help, but there are a couple of other steps you can take to maximize your home’s energy-efficiency.
During warm months and weather permitting, turn off the heat, open the windows and let your home fill with fresh air and allow your home to maintain a comfortable temperature. When it is too hot and muggy to open the windows, consider drawing the shades and using oscillating fans rather than air conditioning units.
Resisting the urge to crank up the heat in the winter can be tough; but it can also really pay off. Throw on a good pair of socks and a sweatshirt and lower the heat as much as possible, while still remaining comfortable. If you are going to be away from home for several day, lower the heat to 55 degrees; this will help to ensure that the plumbing and pipes in your home don’t freeze.
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Plumbing tips to reduce energy consumption include a lot of shortcuts that you and your family can make habit fairly easily. Things like turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and making sure that all faucets are turned all the way off are simple to do. Waiting until the dishwasher is full before it is run and using the cold setting on your washing machine are also very helpful.
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Shutting down home computers and appliances is important, but there’s more you can do to reduce your energy costs. Turning off electronics when they aren’t being used may seem like a no-brainer, but did you know that appliances can still use a little bit of energy when they’re not being used, but left plugged in. If you know an appliance won’t be used frequently, consider storing it away, unplugged, and taking it out only when it’s needed. This might also help you to uncover some more counter space.
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By Emma Lewis