Improving your home’s energy efficiency can translate into an extra cash cushion, especially during summer scorchers. To save more money – and extend the life of your home’s appliances and systems – consider taking these quick and easy steps:
Programmable Thermostat: According to energy.gov by installing and using a programmable thermostat, it could help you save up to 10% per year on heating and cooling costs.
Prevent Heat Creep: Heat can discreetly seep into your house, requiring more energy to cool it down. While it may seem obvious to shut doors and windows when your AC is running, you should also ensure your windows and doorframes are tightly caulked to prevent heat from creeping inside. You can also insert foam insulation behind electrical outlets to prevent heat from coming through the fixtures.
Frequent Air Filter Changes: Debris, dust and indoor pollution slowly collect in the filter of your AC unit, reducing its efficiency. Changing your filter once a month can help you decrease energy costs while increasing the life of your unit.
Refine Your Refrigerator Usage: Use the dollar test to determine if cold air is escaping your fridge. Simply insert a dollar bill next to the edge of the door and close it. If you can easily pull out the dollar bill, it’s time to replace the seal. Also keep in mind that refrigerators operate most efficiently when they’re full, but not overloaded.
Dial Down the Dishwasher: Only run your dishwasher when you have a full load, and if possible, use shorter cycles. You can also use cold water to rinse your dishes ahead of time, and rely on the “air dry” setting to help you cut down on electricity even further.
Keep Your Kitchen Energy in Check: Your refrigerator and dishwasher consume a lot of energy, but they aren’t the only power-hungry culprits in the kitchen. Be sure to turn off tabletop appliances you aren’t using, barbeque food outside vs. heating up the stove, and use small appliances to cook food inside rather than the oven. When you do have to cook inside, try to do so during the cooler parts of the day.
Lighten Your Laundry Load: To decrease the power it takes to run the washer, clean your clothes with the delicate cycle or shorter cycles, and use cold water. Plus – wait until you have a full load. It takes twice as much energy to wash two lighter loads. When possible, air dry your clothes on a rack or outdoor clothes line. When you do use the dryer, be sure to clean the lint trap after every load so it operates optimally.
Simple tweaks to your lifestyle and home maintenance habits can significantly reduce your house’s energy output, lower electric bills, and extend the life of your appliances and systems.