Spring has sprung! This is the time that many homeowners clean out their closets, cabinets, yards, etc. One other thing to consider this Spring is to make your home more energy efficient and save a little money in the long run!
Here are some ideas to save energy in your home’s most used rooms…
When the weather gets warmer many of us crank down our AC to be comfortable while sleeping. This can waste a lot of energy and it will impact your electricity bill. Ceiling fans can do wonders to help circulate air. Fans help to circulate cool air in the summer by pushing cooled air downward. Just by using a ceiling fan, you can raise the thermostat around 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort. Remember that ceiling fans cool our bodies but not the room, so remember to turn it off when you leave the room.
Another easy thing to do in your bedroom is to improve the lighting. Change out your light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs. They use about 75% less energy and will last longer.
Attics are an important part of the energy efficiency of our home. Adding insulation can make an immediate improvement. Do a check in your attic, especially if you have an older home and determine how much insulation can be added. This added insulation acts as a barrier to keep the heat out. To better maximize the benefits of added insulation, you can air seal by adding caulking, sealing and weather stripping to all seams, cracks and openings to the outside in your attic. To determine if your home needs added insulation, you can hire a qualified home energy auditor to do an assessment.
The kitchen is the most used room in the house, and therefore it takes a lot of electricity to keep it running. One of the biggest things is the appliances. You can use up to 40% less energy by replacing old refrigerators with an Energy Star labeled one. If your appliances are older than 2001, you should consider replacing with more updated, energy efficient models. Just think how nice your kitchen will look as you save money and energy! Of course, the same goes for light bulbs by changing to LEDs or CFLs. If you don’t want to do an overhaul there are a few other things you can do:
• Use pressure cookers or microwaves instead of the stove.
• Don’t open the oven door and peek in while cooking.
• Only run the dishwasher when full.
• Let your dishes air dry with the automatic air dry option or turn off dishwasher after the final rinse and open the door.
• Allow foods to partially cool before putting them in the refrigerator since it takes more energy to cool hot food.
Do you have Energy Star electronics in your living room? These types of electronics help to reduce energy consumption without reducing the quality of the product. But you must remember to turn off these electronics when not in use. Even those in stand-by mode still consume energy. You can use ceiling fans in this room as well and replace light bulbs. It may also be beneficial to upgrade windows and doors not only in your living room but the entire house as well. If replacing windows is not an option, you can add caulking or weather stripping to reduce air leakage. Curtains and window coverings can help block the sun and keep your room cooler as well as adding a decorative touch.
Garages can be the biggest culprits of air loss in your home. One of the easiest ways to prevent air loss is to add weather stripping to the garage door and the door entering your home. If you are looking to increase curb appeal, you may consider purchasing a more energy efficient garage door. Lastly, many people keep their extra refrigerator in the garage for extra storage. Keeping the fridge/freezer at the proper temperature can cause it work harder. You may want to consider replacing or buying a model that is built garage friendly and can withstand extreme temperatures.