Tips for Homeowners: How to Save on Energy Costs
Whether you have a new construction home, previously owned home, or a vintage home - we have several ways for you to reduce your home energy & service costs.
1) Insulate your attic - With an unfinished attic you want to have insulation in between the ceiling joists. With new construction homes it is required to have R45 insulation installed. If you are moving into a pre-owned house, look around the attic to make sure the insulation has not been damaged. If so, make sure to replace with new.
2) Invest in ceiling fans - If your home does not already have these then consider purchasing ceiling fans for most rooms. This is a low energy way to keep the air circulating throughout your home. Ceiling fans can make a room feel about 5-7 degrees cooler, which is a bonus during the warmer months. Always check to make sure your fans are blowing the proper way. In the summer, set the fan to push air down on you (counterclockwise). In the winter, switch the fan to rotate clockwise and run on low. This will push the warm air up and outward to help circulate the heat as it rises. You can find the switch directly on the fan itself or with newer fans there is a remote button.
3) Program your thermostat - If you already have a programmable thermostat and don't know how to use it, learn how to now! Can't find the manual? Search online. If you do not already have one, this would be another great purchase for your home. If your household has a regular schedule the programmable feature is genius - if not, no worries. For example, my husband and I turn our system down 3 degrees when we leave in the morning and turn it back up whenever we return home in the colder months. Take advantage when the weather outside is comfortable and turn your system off.
4) Replacing your air filters - As a new homeowner you should always replace them as soon as you move in. From there, replace them about every 3-6 months. Make sure to take accurate measurements of your filters. In my household we have them shipped on a schedule that way we never forget & know that when they arrive it is time to change them out. Check out the website we use Filterbuy.com. This process is super simple and only takes about 5 minutes. Another thing to check when you are replacing your filter is to check your unit outside to make sure it is clear of debris, leaves, etc. If it is surrounded by shrubbery make sure to trim them so that they are not directly covering the unit.
5) Utilize drying racks and clotheslines - Drying racks cost as little as $10 and are great for helping cut back on your electric bill. You install a clothesline either outside or even inside as well.
6) Rethink your light bulbs - Use LED or CFL light bulbs instead. These light bulbs last around 7,000 to 24,000 hours longer than an incandescent bulb. Though they may cost more when you purchase them, they save you money on your electric bill.
7) Controlling heat from the sun - When you have your AC working to cool down your house you want to close your blinds to help keep the sun from heating it at the same time. If you have a furry friend this may be hard because we all know they love to sunbathe and take naps. However, when it’s cooler and the sun is shining, take advantage and open those blinds to help heat the house with the natural sunlight.
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst