Here are a couple of home energy efficiency tips for your home not just for winter or summer but for all year-round! This should help you save a lot from your utility bills. These tips will not also help you save money but you are actually saving energy and doing your part for the environment!
Home Energy Efficiency Tips for Winter
- Set your thermostat to 68°F during the day and 60°F at night. This should allow you to save at least 3% on your heating costs during winter.
- Install a window kit to the inside of your windows so that no cold air will come in and no warm air will go out.
- Change the filters of your heating system at a regular basis. A well-maintained heating system can save money and increase the comfort level in your home.
- Make sure your furnace is airtight because you may be losing more heat than you are generating.
- Check all the ductwork in your home for any air leakage if you want to save up to 10% on your heating costs. If you found any leakage be sure to use a silver metal duct tape to seal it – or better yet, call a professional to do it.
Home Energy Efficiency Tips for Summer
- Check the air filter of your AC unit on a regular basis. A clean air filter will improve the unit’s efficiency and save both energy and money.
- Your thermostat should be set to a comfortable level (~76°F.) 76°F should be comfortable enough for you and your family as it is the most energy-efficient indoor temperature.
- Get a professional to look at your AC unit just to make sure that it works properly and there are no issues with it.
- Don’t forget to ensure your windows and the doors are closed every time you turn on your AC.
- Make sure that your TV, lamps or other appliances are not close to your AC thermostat as it may cause for your air conditioner to cool the room more than is needed.
- Be sure that there are no object or furniture blocking the ducts and fans of your cooling system so the cool air can circulate freely and properly.
Home Energy Efficiency Tips All Year-Round
- Did you know that a water heater has the third highest energy expense in most homes? If you have a water heater at home be sure to set its water temperature to 130°F instead of 140°F to save a couple of dollars each month.
- Use a microwave to cook meals instead of an oven to save energy. This not only saves energy from the use of the oven itself but in cooling the house after baking.
- Wash your clothes in cold water and you will save at least $50 per year.
- Another way to save energy in the laundry room is to put a dry towel in the dryer with each load of wet clothes. The towel will absorb dampness and reduce drying time, saving energy and money.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent and/or LED bulbs. Besides saving energy, you will also save money in the long run, since the life spans of these bulbs is substantially longer.
- If you have a crawl space, inspect it regularly to ensure that the insulation inside is dry. When insulation gets wet, it isn’t as effective. Be sure to find the source of the moisture and replace any damaged insulation.
- Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator at least every three months. The dirt buildup makes the refrigerator work harder to keep the contents cool and therefore uses more energy.
An outside air conditioning unit, often referred to as an HVAC unit, is a lifesaver during hot summer months. During the winter, you may want to winterize the unit to protect it against cold weather, snow and ice. Winterizing the unit also protects it against rust damage. A few protective measures can keep the air conditioning unit in your real estate investment in top working condition.
Find the air conditioning circuit near your unit. Usually, it has a plastic or metal lid that covers the electrical circuit. Open the lid and flip the switch to turn the unit off. This prevents the unit from turning on during an unusually warm winter day, keeping water out of the unit that could potentially freeze.
Wash the air conditioning unit with a hose to remove bird droppings, dead bugs, dirt and dust. Remove leaves, small branches and grass clippings from the unit. Allow the unit to dry completely.
Install foam pipe covers around exterior exposed pipes. Cut the foam to fit the length and diameter of the pipe. The foam covers insulate the pipes and protect them against freezing temperatures. Wrap duct tape around the foam covers to hold them in place.
Cover the HVAC unit with a plastic or vinyl cover. Choose a cover that is waterproof. Some manufacturers make covers that are specifically designed for air conditioners, but you can use any plastic or vinyl covering that fits over the unit.
Wrap vinyl ropes or bungee cords around the air conditioning cover to keep it secure. Make sure the cover is wrapped tightly so it doesn’t blow away in strong winds.
Check your air conditioner once a week to make sure the cover is secure. Brush water, snow and ice off the unit. Remove twigs, pinecones and leaves from the cover.
While setting the thermostat to the right temperatures can improve the comfort of one’s home, it is not the only way to do so. Other ways for a homeowner to minimize energy usage and costs, while improving the overall environment inside of his or her home include:
- Wear warmer clothing and consider setting the temperature to lower than 72 degrees to see more savings on energy bills.
- Inspect and regularly replace filters.
- Get an inspection and furnace tune up before the arrival of winter to get the furnace ready for the season.
- Inspect the home for drafts and leaks. Seal up any cracks, holes or gaps in the home’s entryways, walls, and foundation to prevent thermal energy from escaping.
- Use weather stripping on doors and windows that are used frequently.
- Caulk or seal the windows and any unused exterior doors.
- Set the water tank temperature to 120 degrees to reduce thermal energy costs.
- Open the curtains or blinds to let the sunlight in to help heat the home.
- Rearrange furniture so that no one has to sit where there may be drafts coming in.
- Check all pipes and faucets for leaks. Insulate the pipes by covering them with a blanket.
Prior to the cold weather setting in, homeowners should make every effort to winterize their home. Stop playing with the thermostat and get more enjoyment out of your home by making it as energy efficient as possible.
Winter is already upon us and this means that it may be too late to make preparations for it now. Regardless of where you live, the winter season is definitely one of the most troublesome part of the year to many households all over the country. But it is never too late to prepare for it though. Below are some tips on how to make your home ready for this winter season.
Caulk and Weather Stripping
Caulking is the best solution for drafts. You must never forget to inspect your windows, foundations, and doors for any cracks and seal them with a caulk immediately. Also, you can choose to use weather stripping to get rid of drafts that sneaks beneath your doors. By doing so, you should be able to lower your energy consumption this winter.
Install New Windows
Installing new windows would be a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and help lower your energy consumption this winter. However, installing new windows could become expensive and may not be the best solution for households on a budget.
Having insulation in your attic, flooring, and walls will help you keep warm inside your house this winter season. Also, a good insulation will prevent cold air from sneaking indoors. Try contacting your contractor to add proper insulation to your home as preparation for winter.
You must have your furnace cleaned by a professional before the cold season begins. This is to make sure that your furnace will be ready and will last till the end of the season.
It’s a good idea to have a professional clean your chimney before the winter season arrives. Your contractor will check for creosote buildup and ensure that no small animals are nesting in your chimney. Also, make sure that your damper closes tightly to prevent drafts from sneaking into your home through the fireplace.
Cool air can seep into your home through electrical outlets. You can use pre-cut foam gaskets to prevent the cold air from leaking inside your home. Also, don’t forget to reverse your ceiling fans so they circulate rising warm air downward into the living space of your home. This simple measure can go a long way toward enhancing the comfort of your home.
The winter of 2013 / 2014 has NOT been a record winter. When the final monthly statistics come out, January in the U.S. won’t be near record cold.
This crazy weather is not just a U.S. thing. Parts of South America and Australia have had much warmer than normal weather this winter. Parts of Europe have been cold and stormy, others record warm. For much of January, Greenland was 8 degrees warmer than norm. Hey, let’s go to Greenland!!
The Winter of 1779-1780 was so cold that ice was piled 20 feet high along the Delmarva Coast and stayed there until spring. The upper portion of the Chesapeake Bay and the entire Potomac River was frozen solid. People were able to walk from Annapolis to Kent Island and from Alexandria into DC.
Lowest world temperature: -128.6°F / -89.6°C, Vostok Station, Antarctica, 21 July 1983–without windchill.
Lowest world temperature in inhabited area: -90.4° F / -68° C, Oymyakon, Siberia (pop. 4,000), 6 February, 1933 and also at Verkhoyansk, Siberia, 3 January, 1885.
Lowest USA temperature: -79.8° F / -62.1° C, Prospect Creek, Alaska, 23 January, 1971.
Lowest USA (48 contiguous states) temperature: -69.7° F / -56.5° C, Rogers Pass, Montana, 20 January, 1954.