There are many common, everyday ways that we can save energy in the home, and many of the, like using fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent, are common knowledge. There are many hidden ways that we can make our homes more energy-efficient that will also increase the comfort level in our homes. Some of these fixes may cost money to implement, but they are a smart investment that will save you money over time.
1. If you don’t have a ceiling fan, invest in one. They not only circulate the air and add to your comfort, they also use less energy and will allow you to keep you ac or heating system on a lower setting. However, many people don’t have them set properly; for maximum efficiency, set it to turn counter-clockwise in warm weather an clockwise during the cold season.
2. If you have an ac, make sure that the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) is at least 15. You should also set it to automatically kick on or off at a certain temperature instead of leaving it completely off and turning it on when it gets too hot.
3. Create cross-breezes by opening opposing doors and windows throughout your home to lessen your need for ac. Awnings shades, and trees planted outside of windows on the sunny side of your home also help insulate during hot weather.
4. Check your duct work for leaks, splits and holes. Aside from clogged filters, this is one of the main causes of inefficient cooling. If your ac has to work harder to cool your home, you’re more likely to end up with costly repairs and hiring heating and cooling bills.
5. Lighter colors on walls and window treatments reflect the heat and help keep your interior cooler.
6. Close air vents in rooms that aren’t in use. This will direct more heat or cool air into occupied areas without making your HVAC system work harder.
7. Regular system maintenance will help ensure efficient operation and head off more costly repairs before they’re needed. Also make sure to change your filters every month.
Local power companies like Columbia Utilities often offer advice to consumers about energy conservation. Not only does controlling power consumption help lower your bills and decrease wear on your electrical system and electrical appliances, it also helps the environment.
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