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5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

It’s always a smart idea to consider the energy efficiency of your home and where you can cut back on energy usage. Conserving energy isn’t just good for the environment, it’s pretty nice on your wallet as well. By using less energy in your home, the costs associated with your energy bills will effortlessly decrease.

5 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

With these 5 easy to implement tips, you can start saving today!

Turn Your Thermostat Down (or Up):

No matter what the temperature is outside, you can cut out a good amount of energy usage by adjusting your thermostat just a little bit lower or higher than you normally would. During colder months, instead of trying to maintain a toasty 72ºF in your home for 24 hours straight, decrease the thermostat to 68ºF for 8 to 10 hours. In the summertime, do the same, but set it to a warmer temperature than you normally would. It’s estimated that for every degree you adjust, you’ll save about 3% on energy costs. This trick works especially well during the hours you are sleeping or away.

Use Sunlight:

You can utilize the power of the sun right now without any need for expensive solar panels. During the daytime in the winter, open the shades or blinds of south facing windows and glass doors to allow in heat and light from the sun. In the summer, utilize the sun for its natural indoor lighting during those extended hours of daylight. You’ll be able to cut costs on heating and electricity by tapping into this natural resource.

Turn Off the Lights!

When a room is unoccupied, be sure to turn off all incandescent lights—even if you only plan to be gone from the room for a short time. These lights use up to 90% of their energy simply to produce heat, and only the remaining 10% is dedicated to creating light. With compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), the general rule is to turn the lights off if you plan to be away from the room for 15 minutes, but leave them on if you plan to return within 15 minutes. Switching to LED lamps whenever possible will also help cut down on excess energy usage from lighting

Seal Drafts:

Air leaks from the outdoors can cause your home to have uncomfortable drafty spots or cause cool air conditioned air to seep out. And, since your HVAC system tries to maintain a steady temperature in your home, air leaks in your home can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to. By sealing these drafts, either with weather stripping or caulking, you’ll be able to save on excess heating and cooling costs. Plus, during the colder months, you’ll keep those pesky drafts out.

Get Your HVAC System Inspected:

An easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to have a HVAC technician perform regular maintenance on your heating and cooling units. By getting regular maintenance, you’ll be reassured that your system is working efficiently. A faulty unit could be costing you a lot of extra money to maintain; if there are any issues, a professional HVAC technician can address them right away. If you haven’t had maintenance performed on your HVAC system in the past year, give us a call: 512-670-8883

Is A Programmable Thermostat Worth The Investment?

Many homeowners wonder if a programmable thermostat is worth the investment. Everyone has heard that these thermostats are supposed to provide a significant reduction in energy usage, thereby allowing homeowners to save money on their heating and cooling bills. However, for the average homeowner, is there really a big enough savings to justify the expense of a new programmable thermostat?

The answer depends on how you use your thermostat. Homeowners who are willing to take the necessary steps to learn how to use their new programmable thermostat properly will certainly benefit from the energy savings. For example, the following steps can be beneficial in increasing the energy saving benefits of your programmable thermostat:

• Find at least 8 hours each day where you can deviate from your regular set-point. This can be during the day when everyone is at work or school, or it could be at night when you’re asleep.
• Don’t try to make rapid changes in temperature.
• Limit how often you manually override the setting on your programmable thermostat. This type of practice can significantly increase the energy used by your HVAC system.
• If you have a heating and cooling system with multiple zones, it is important to install a programmable thermostat for each separate zone. Multiple thermostats can help keep your home comfortable while also saving energy.
• Your thermostat should be placed away from heating and cooling equipment and should be located in a spot that won’t result in false temperature readings. For example, don’t place your thermostat in direct sunlight, by a drafty window or next to a fireplace.
• When you’re going to be away from home, even for a couple of days, be sure to use your thermostat’s “vacation” feature. This will ensure your home remains a safe temperature, while not wasting energy by keeping it at a temperature that would be necessary for comfort when you are at home.
• If you have a programmable thermostat that uses batteries, be sure they are replaced every year.

Programmable thermostats are generally very affordable and offer an excellent way to reduce energy bills; however, it is important to use your thermostat properly for maximum energy savings.