50 Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency
Homeowners might feel discouraged and frustrated when they open their mailbox, pull out their mail and discover an energy bill that’s much higher than expected. Maybe gas, water and electricity have both been higher than normal, and those costs are throwing the budget out of whack.
Homeowners that are working remotely might just be using more electricity than normal because they are home all day. However, there are a number of ways that homeowners can improve their energy efficiency and, hopefully, save money in the process. Here are 50 ways to help improve energy efficiency to combat those energy drains…and cut costs, too.
1. Adjust the HVAC thermostat. Aim for a temperature of 78 degrees in warm periods and 68 degrees Fahrenheit during cooler months.
2. During summer, close drapes and blinds to minimize the home to the heat gains caused by the hot sun.
3. Use ceiling fans to circulate the air in the home. The blades should circulate counterclockwise in summer and clockwise in winter.
4. Change the air filter in the HVAC regularly. A clogged and dirty air filter will make the HVAC work harder.
5. Check around the front and backdoors for air leaks. Replace the weather insulation strip around the door if it is looking worn. Do the same around windows, too!
6. Add film insulation over windows to add another layer of protection around windows.
7. Change all light bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs.
8. Unplug any appliance that isn’t in use. If the coffee maker displays the time, it’s using electricity even when it’s not on!
9. Turn off lights, gadgets and the television when not in use!
10. Don’t leave the water running when washing hands or brushing teeth.
11. Install low flow shower heads to help use less water.
12. Take shorter showers.
13. Install low flow faucets or motion-activated faucets.
14. Only wash full loads of laundry.
15. Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
16. Wash clothes in the coolest setting (that’s recommended).
17. Don’t double dry clothes. Remove them promptly.
18. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall a few inches.
19. Clean the coils of the refrigerator.
20. Service the HVAC yearly; both the air conditioning and the furnace need to be serviced.
21. Check pipes or faucets for leaks and drips. Call a plumber if repairs are needed.
22. Insulate the hot water heater tank to conserve heat.
23. Turn off the HVAC during mild temperatures if it isn’t needed.
24. Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Every flush uses water!
25. When an appliance needs to be replaced, opt for an energy-efficient model.
26. Open the blinds (when the weather isn’t hot) to use sunlight instead of turning on lamps or other lights.
27. Program the HVAC thermostat!
28. Use the Internet of Things (IoT) to control lights, appliances and other gadgets remotely.
29. Upgrade to an LED television; older models use more electricity!
30. Don’t charge gadgets before they need to be charged.
31. Upgrade the PC to a laptop.
32. Ditch the oven in favor of the microwave, crock pot or other convenient more energy-efficient cooking appliances.
33. Don’t overstuff the dryer.
34. Clean out the lint filter in the dryer after every cycle.
35. Air dry clothes when possible.
36. Make sure the dryer vent is serviced regularly.
37. Use the grill outside…instead of the oven or stove.
38. Shutdown computers if they are not being used.
39. Plug up the chimney if it isn’t in use. No, don’t just stuff some paper up there…invest in a chimney balloon. However, if homeowners don’t remember to remove it before they light a fire, it will deflate.
40. Fix any cracks that could let the elements into the home.
41. If snow melts quickly in a home’s room, it might be an indication that there is poor insulation. Homeowners might want to call a pro to check.
42. Opt for a shower, not a bath.
43. Take a warm shower, not a hot shower.
44. Make sure children close the refrigerator door…a slightly ajar door can leak lots of cold air.
45. Use smart plugs and smart power strips.
46. Remove clothes from the washer promptly; forgetting them could require another washing to remove musty odors (and this is an inconvenient energy waste)
47. Unplug all devices and lamps before leaving on vacation. Remove as much energy waste as possible before closing up the home.
48. Water the lawn in the morning (before 10 a.m.) to help prevent too much evaporation.
49. Opt for high-efficiency sprinkler heads.
50. Install an energy-efficient pet door to ensure that cold or hot air isn’t leaking into the home.
Homeowners looking for more ways to embrace energy efficiency can download benefyd to help them conduct a home-energy audit. Homeowners will need the most recent copies of the energy bills, as the app will need energy use data. benefyd can be used to snap a photo of each room of the home.
Using the photos and the data provided, benefyd can help homeowners identify energy ways and find more ways to cut energy costs. In addition, benefyd also can help homeowners find rebates in their area. Find benefyd on the App Store or on Google Play!