What do you think about when you hear the word summer? For many of us, it’s increased energy consumption.
Here are some ways to reduce your home energy consumption without sacrificing your comfort this summer:
1. Conduct a home energy audit. An audit can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable.
2. Identify items around your home that use standby power. Unplug items that are rarely used or use a power strip to control clusters of items. According to Energy Star, the average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power devices while they are off (or in standby mode).
3. Upgrade your appliances and light bulbs. Replace old light bulbs and household appliances with ENERGY STAR certified ones. These upgrades can lower your annual energy bills by 20%.
4. Make your home smarter. Programmable thermostats, connected lighting, automated blinds, and smart plugs can all put energy management at the palm of your hand.
5. Close all blinds and shades to block the sun and reduce the amount of unwanted heat entering your home that forces the A/C to work harder and use more energy.
6. Turn your A/C up or off when on vacation or when no one is home. Save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.
7. Use a circulating fans to keep a room cool. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
8. Decrease the temperature setting for your water heater. The default manufacturer setting for many water heaters is 140°F, but 120°F should be sufficient for most homes. This change can save you up to 11% on your water heating costs.
9. Use renewable energy. There are many factors to take into consideration, but start the journey on learning more about solar and wind power. Wind projects compare favorably with other forms of energy through 2040. The cost of going solar has dropped every year since 2009, a trend researchers expect to continue.
10. Seal your home from outside hot air. Caulking and weatherstripping are two simple and effective air-sealing techniques that offer quick returns on investment, often one year or less.