As a homeowner, it’s important to save energy around the house. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint and see lower utility bills. Here are some tips to improve energy efficiency in your home.
Use Ceiling Fans to Improve Energy Efficiency
Ceiling fans circulate air in your home and, because of the improved airflow, help control the temperature. In the summer, make sure the fan is rotating in a counterclockwise direction. This creates a windchill effect that cools the room. You can adjust your thermostat up a few degrees with the ceiling fan running and still maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
In the winter, reverse the direction; setting the fan to turn clockwise. This will circulate warmer air that collects at the ceiling back down into the room.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a great way to save money on your energy bills. Set the thermostat to turn the HVAC unit on or off at certain times of the day. There is no need to heat or cool the living spaces if no one is home. Program the thermostat to return to a comfortable temperature before people come home from work.
Set the thermostat to drop a few degrees after bedtime. Many people sleep better when they’re cooler and the HVAC system won’t have to work as hard during the night. Program the thermostat to return the home to a comfortable temperature before you get up in the morning.
Upgrade to Smart Bulbs
Smart bulbs are LED light bulbs that can be controlled by an app on your smartphone. These bulbs are energy-efficient and many are programmable and can be set to turn on and off at certain times of the day.
If you realize you left the basement light on, simply open your app and power it off. Smart bulbs are also great for boosting home security. You can control the lighting even while you’re away from home. This creates the illusion that the house is occupied and helps deter burglars.
Improve Energy Efficiency with Thoughtful Appliance Usage
To improve energy efficiency, adjust how and when you use your appliances. If you have a clothesline, hang laundry to dry when the weather is nice. In the summer, operate heat-generating appliances – like the stove and dishwasher – in the evenings. These machines increase the temperature in your home and cause your cooling system to work harder.
Whenever possible, wash your clothes in cool water. Modern washing machines and laundry detergent perform well and your clothes will be just as clean. Keep your refrigerator full, but not packed. This helps the appliance to run more efficiently. Every 30 – 90 days, vacuum the coils. Your refrigerator coils allow heat to dissipate. Keeping them clean improves efficiency and extends the lifespan of this appliance.