Simple Solutions for Home Energy Loss
Almost every home has energy loss problems that can be solved with easy, do-it-yourself solutions. Everyone is eager to cut a few dollars off that monthly energy bill and help the environment in the process. Here are some simple solutions to your home energy loss problems.
- Use the sun to your advantage by keeping blinds/drapes open during the winter. In the summer, close those blinds or drapes to keep heat out.
- Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically cool or heat the house only when necessary. This way, you cut down on unnecessary heating and cooling.
- Make sure you fireplace is not draining the heat/cool air from your house. Make sure your damper is working and closed (when the fireplace isn’t in use, of course). Take it one step further and install a chimney cap to further insulate. Another option is to put in a glass fireplace door.
- Use dimmer switches on your lights so that you have more control over how much electricity you use.
- Install fluorescent light bulbs and LED’s whenever possible. There is a whole array of new light bulb technology out there. While you may spend a little more upfront, the new bulb will last you significantly longer than a traditional one.
- Change the air filters in your heat pump or furnace regularly. This allows your furnace to do less work for the same amount of heat.
- Check for leaks in your heat ducts (see my DIY home energy audit checklist or contact a professional contractor for an audit).
- Apply weather stripping or caulking around all doors and windows. Check for leaks by using a match or incense stick and watching the flow of the smoke.
- Make sure that nothing is blocking your heating vents so that air flows evenly throughout the house. Alternately, close off ducts and vents in unoccupied rooms.
- Replace old appliances – especially refrigerators which claim up to 20% of your total energy use.
- Use cold water to clean your clothes. This will save you 80-85% of the energy you use on laundry.
- Plant trees around your house, strategically to insulate from cold breezes and to add shade for cooling off in the summer.
- Unplug battery charges that aren’t in use. Your cell phone charger is using electricity even if your phone is not plugged in!
- Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room. This is a no-brainer. Install motion detectors or timers outside so you don’t have your lights on 24/7.