We use energy for so many things in our homes, but by making some simple changes, you can keep a more energy-efficient home and stop paying for wasted energy. Keep reading for our top 20 tips to minimize energy loss in your home this winter and all year ‘round.
1. Enhance your home’s insulation: When your home is well-insulated, your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard against the outdoor temperature to keep your home comfortable. There are many ways to better insulate your home, including adding insulation to your attic, installing storm doors or upgrading your windows.
2. Upgrade to more efficient HVAC systems: Since the bulk of energy costs go to your HVAC system, and heat in particular, you can save in some cases by upgrading or repairing your existing home heating system to a more energy-efficient option. Electric heat pumps tend to be more efficient than gas furnaces.
3. Replace your air filter regularly: You don’t want your home’s HVAC system to work harder than it should, so make sure you regularly clean or replace air filters. When your air conditioner is operating with a clean filter, its energy consumption will be 5% to 15% lower than with a clogged, dirty filter.
4. Schedule a regular HVAC tune-up: Another way to ensure your HVAC system is working at maximum efficiency is to schedule routine professional maintenance. Our team at Maichle’s can check to ensure there are no problems preventing your HVAC system from functioning at its best and to prevent any minor issues from compounding.
5. Insulate ductwork: Wrapping your ductwork in insulation can prevent hot air from escaping as it travels to the vents throughout your home. This leaked air can cost you hundreds every year, but insulating your ducts can make a significant difference.
6. Adjust your thermostat: Most of us have strong preferences when it comes to our preferred temperature inside, but even adjusting your thermostat by a single degree can save you money. So, when you’re feeling tempted to bump up the temperature this winter, put on another layer instead. In the summer, use fans to help you keep your cool.
7. Use a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat gives you hands-off heating and cooling. You can set your thermostat to raise or lower the temperature so it’s not working as hard while you’re at work, for instance, and return to normal in time for you to come home.
8. Lower your water heater setting: Many water heaters have a default setting to heat water to 140 degrees. For most households, this scalding temperature is hotter than necessary. By lowering your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees, you can save hundreds of dollars every year and likely never notice any difference.
9. Clean out your water heater: Limescale and other mineral deposits can build up inside a hot water tank over time and reduce the heater’s efficiency. To keep your water heater working at its best, flush and clean out the tank periodically. If you have hard water, you may have to clean out your tank more often.
10. Insulate hot water pipes: As hot water travels from your water heater to your shower and faucets, the water tends to cool. To prevent this waste, you can insulate your hot water pipes. By insulating the pipe coming out of your water heater, you can enjoy water at the temperature you want without having to raise the faucet handle as far.
11. Shorten your showers: A straightforward way to cut down on your energy consumption without having to install or upgrade anything in your home is to shave a few minutes off your showers. The longer you stay in a hot shower, the harder you are forcing your water heater to work to keep up with the demand.
12. Install low-flow fixtures: Another way you can use less hot water is to install low-flow fixtures, which restrict the amount of water that comes through. Look for faucets, toilets and showerheads with a WaterSense label, which are more efficient than standard options.
13. Switch to LED lightbulbs: LED lightbulbs are significantly more energy-efficient compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. Primarily, this is because LED lightbulbs don’t lose energy in the form of heat like other bulbs do. Switch out your old bulbs for LED ones, and you’re sure to save.
14. Opt for lamps instead of ceiling lights: Overhead lights can light up a whole room, but it’s more efficient to cast light directly on the area where you need it. If you need light to read or do another activity when it’s dark outside, you’re better off turning on a nearby lamp.
15. Keep appliances unplugged: You can prevent “phantom” energy waste by keeping appliances unplugged when you aren’t using them. One of the most convenient ways to do this is to plug devices into power strips you can turn off whenever you’re not using the TV or other appliances.
16. Line-dry clothes: Since clothes dryers use a lot of energy, forgoing using the dryer whenever possible can save you quite a bit of energy. Especially when it’s warm outside, hang wet clothes on a line to dry. You can also hang or lay out clothes to dry inside during colder months.
17. Use solar lights outside: If you have lights outside your home that stay on when it’s dark outside, this can add up to a lot of energy use. Switching to motion-sensor lights is one way to save electricity, but you can eliminate the use of electricity by installing solar lights that charge in the sun and light up at night.
18. Stop charging your phone overnight: Charging your cellphone overnight is a convenient way to start your day with a fully charged phone, but this habit wastes energy, since it typically only takes an hour or two for your phone to fully charge. Unplugging your phone as soon as it has a full charge will save energy and prolong the battery life.
19. Let your dishes air-dry: Many of us enjoy the heat dry feature on our dishwashers, but this uses a good deal of energy, more than the washing cycle does. By not using this feature and letting your dishes air-dry instead, or wiping them dry with a dish towel, you will use less energy.
20. Keep the oven door closed: You may be in the habit of opening the oven door to check on food as it’s baking, but doing so for even a moment will cause the temperature inside to drop. You will force your oven to work harder to get the temperature back up. Instead, use your oven light to look through the door.
Do you need help saving money on your energy bills in Delaware, Pennsylvania or Maryland? Count on Maichle’s Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. Whether you’re looking for HVAC contractors for heating and air conditioning repair or plumbing experts to fix leaks or install new fixtures, call us today, and let us help you start becoming a more energy-efficient homeowner.