As the days get shorter, and colder, our homes tend to consume more energy – keeping the lights on longer due to less daylight, heating our homes more as the temperature drops outside, and stringing up holiday lights to celebrate. If you need your HVAC system updated be sure to check out our services. There are a lot of things you can do to save energy – here are some tips to think about:
An easy way to save energy in the winter is to make sure that your home is cozy and snug. Check for areas where air leaks can occur, such as doors that lead outside, windows, the attic, and the basement. You can easily install draft guards on external doors, they just slip onto the base of the door. You can also add additional insulation to areas that seem colder. The best solution is to schedule an appointment with Reliance Home Comfort and our trained team will come out and check for any leaks or problem areas.
Take advantage of your fans, they aren’t just a summer thing. There is a small switch on most ceiling fans that changes the direction the blades spin. In the winter, the fan should rotate clockwise. This will create an updraft that will pull warm air up and help improve air circulation around the room. In summer, the blades should rotate counterclockwise, pushing air down and creating a cooling breeze.
If you do not have LED lightbulbs in your home, it is time to make the switch! According to the Department of Energy, LED bulbs (especially ENERGY STAR rated LED bulbs) use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and 3 to 5 times longer than CFL bulbs. Homes that use LED bulbs save almost $9 a month on their energy bill. With the upcoming holidays, you should also look into LED decorations. Not only do they use much less energy, they are also:
- Safer – they don’t get as hot, less chance of combustion or fire
- Tougher – made from epoxy rather than glass, so they don’t break as easily
- Longer lasting – compared to traditional CFL or incandescent lights, the same LED lights will still be a part of the holiday tradition decades from now
- Easier to install – because they use less energy you can string together more holiday lights, all powered by the same outlet, without risking overloading the socket
Another easy way to save energy is to take advantage of your space heater. If you are in an area of your home that is typically cooler than other areas, like a bathroom, or maybe an office in the basement, use a space heater to warm up, rather than cracking up the main HVAC system.
Check Water Heater Temperature – aside from your HVAC system, the water heater is another big energy user. It keeps the water at a constant temperature, all day and all night, so that the instant you turn on your faucet or shower head, hot water comes out. The common setting is 140 degrees but the recommended temperature is 120 degrees, to prevent scalding. However, experts say that you shouldn’t set it below 120 degrees because then bacteria could grow inside the water heater. The average person’s shower is 105 degrees, so lowering the temperature a few degrees from 140 will not impact your daily bathing routine. So check your heater’s temperature and (as long as it is above 120 degrees) consider turning it down a few degrees, to save yourself a few dollars.
Sunlight in the Day, Curtains at Night
A quick and free tip to keep your home warm involves your curtains. Open them during the day to allow sunlight to come in and naturally warm up your home. Close the curtains at night to add an extra layer of insulation between your heated air and the window.
After using the oven, leave the oven door open and allow the warm air to flow out into your home. You’ve already used the energy to heat up your oven, so you might as well take advantage of it. If you have small children, this might be a tip that you skip.
Adjust your Thermostat
Lower the temperature a few degrees and see if you are still comfortable. Add some layers, or snuggle up with a blanket on the couch or at your desk. At night, think about lowering the temperature a few degrees more and pull out an extra quilt. Research actually shows that sleeping in cooler temperatures improves the quality of sleep for most people.
Saving energy is great for the environment and great for your wallet. Making a few, easy adjustments to your home can add up to more than a few dollars saved throughout the year. If you have questions about any of these tips, or other ways you can save energy, give Reliance Home Comfort a call today!