Use these energy conservation facts to help make your home more energy efficient to save money on your utilities.
Around 50 percent of heat loss in the average home is through loft space and walls. Proper insulation can be an investment initially, but could end up saving you hundreds of dollars over the life span of your home.
In the winter, opening drapes and curtains on sunny days takes advantage of the sun’s heating power. Then, close all drapes, blinds or shades at night in the winter to make use of their insulating properties.
- Any joints between building materials is a likely place to find heated air leaking out of the house. If two dissimilar materials meet, the chances of air leakage are even greater. When tightening up your house for the fall, scrutinize these areas with particular care.
- Heat loss through windows represents a significant amount of most heating bills. Some sources estimate that heat loss through windows alone could account to 35 percent of heating bills. In home designs that feature multiple or large windows, it is important to caulk cracks, install clear plastic film to the window trim inside the house or decorate windows for efficiency. Decorating solutions include closed shutters, shades, blinds or lined draperies. For long-range solutions, installing storm windows and doors will eliminate problem drafts.
- Ideally, your central air-conditioning compressor should be located on a shady side of your house because it has to work a little harder in full sun. Studies show that shading a compressor can shave 1 percent to 2 percent off cooling costs. However, air flow is much more important because it’s the air moving over the compressor’s coils that causes them to give up their heat, and that’s what makes the system work. It’s important to keep fences, shrubs, and anything else that might block airflow at least 24 inches away.
- Swapping out standard incandescent bulbs for ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescents in your five most frequently used fixtures could trim as much as $60 off your yearly energy bill.
- Ceiling fans can save energy in both the summer and the winter. In the summer, fan blades should revolve in a counterclockwise direction. In winter months, set your fan at its slowest speed and reverse it in order to push warm air down.
- Fill empty spaces in your refrigerator and freezer with water jugs. You’ll save energy and money because it takes more energy to run an empty refrigerator and freezer than a full one.
- To maximize efficiency, wash only full loads of clothes when possible and always clean the dryer’s lint filter after every load.
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