Managing your household budget isn’t easy, especially when you have to set aside money each month for utility expenses. If you’re looking for ways to grow your bank account, saving energy at home can help you reach your goals. There’s no denying that when it comes to conserving energy, every little bit helps. Some strategies, however, reward you with a bigger payback than others. The following five tactics help you to save energy and can also make a big difference in comfort for homes in High Point, North Carolina.
Start with the Windows
Windows offer views, let in fresh air and bathe your home with natural light. They can also have a negative impact on your heating and cooling bills. Weatherstripping windows helps to eliminate energy-wasting drafts but does little to address heat gain and heat loss. The right window treatments, on the other hand, can keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Use these tips to enhance the look of your windows and save money on energy bills year round:
- For sun-facing windows, blinds reduce summer heat gain while allowing you to adjust the slats to let light inside.
- For lower heating costs, insulated shades are some of the most effective window treatments around.
- Curtains with white plastic backing add insulation in winter and reduce heat gain in summer by 33 percent.
For optimal savings, hang draperies so that they are close to the windowsill and extend to the floor. Use strips of Velcro to attach the sides to the wall or to connect different panels.
Banish Vampire Energy
From televisions and computers to phone chargers, many home appliances and electronics consume energy when they’re not in use even if they are turned off. The devices continue to drain energy simply because they are not unplugged. These so-called “energy vampires” can account for as much as 10 percent of your electric bill.
One of the easiest ways to banish the energy-wasting fiends is to connect the devices to a power strip. Plugging the gadget into an outlet connected to a light switch works well too. You can also change the settings on some devices so that they toggle to energy-saving modes when you’re not using them.
Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks let outdoor air inside and allow heated or cooled air to escape outside. In addition to drafty windows and doors, fixtures that penetrate outer walls are common sources of air infiltration. From gas and plumbing pipes to cable and phone lines, utility conduits are often surrounded by gaps, cracks and holes. Combined, these air leaks can waste as much energy as leaving a window open year round. Sealing the leaks with weatherstripping, caulk and spray insulation offers you an affordable way to reduce your energy expenses.
Use Ceiling Fans
It’s not only the ambient temperature that impacts the level of comfort you feel in your home. Air movement plays a significant role as well. By keeping the air moving, ceiling fans increase skin evaporation, which makes you feel cooler on a hot day. In summer, this allows you to lower the AC setting by four degrees with no loss of comfort. Ceiling fans can improve your comfort during the winter too. Reversing the direction of the spinning blades forces the warmer air back down into the room. In every season, you can help your HVAC system to operate more efficiently, so you save money on energy bills.
Program the Thermostat Correctly
Everyone wants to come home to a comfortable environment at the end of a busy day. Leaving your heater or air conditioner running while you’re away, however, is a waste of energy and your money. Today’s modern thermostats offer you a cost-effective alternative. Simply program the device to adjust temperatures automatically according to your schedule. Some models even do the programming for you by “learning” your personal preferences over time. Whatever type you choose, you can expect to save 10 percent or more on heating and cooling costs.
From HVAC maintenance to new installations, Charlie’s Heating & Cooling offers an array of energy-saving solutions. To learn more, explore our award-winning services or call (336) 629-5453 .