Everyday Tips to Save Money & Energy at Home
We want to help you stretch your summer vacation by sharing the following energy saving tips for your home. Save money and energy at home so you can spend it on your summer outings and vacations.
Everyday Tips to To Save Money and Energy at Home
These no-or-low-cost tips are easy ways to save energy and money all year round, but especially during the summer. If you want to increase the energy efficiency of your home for the sake of the planet and your wallet, consider these green-friendly ways to save energy:
Lighting and Home Appliances
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or energy-saving light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Learn more about your lightbulb choices by watching this U.S. Department of Energy video:
- Air-dry your dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Use a microwave oven or toaster oven instead of a conventional electric range or oven.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use (if you leave your computer on, put it in sleep mode rather than running the screen saver). Plug home electronics, such as TVs and VCRs, into power strips and turn power strips off when equipment is not in use. This is because your electronics draw power even when not in use. The power strip on-off switch is a great way to cut back on this “vampire energy.“
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and use cold water if you can.
- Similarly, a full fridge or freezer uses less energy than empty ones. If you have a secondary refrigerator in your home, consider ways in which you can cut this down to one appliance. And repair your refrigerator door seals if necessary.
- If you are thinking about replacing your appliances for more energy-efficient ones, consider ENERGY STAR-qualified products, which tend to be the most energy-efficient and come with tax credits.
- Grill outside in the summer to avoid putting extra strain on your air conditioning system. If you must cook indoors, choose to do so in the early morning or late at night, when electricity costs are lower and the temperatures aren’t as high.
Heating & Air Conditioning
- Use ceiling fans to make the room seem colder than it actually is. Ceiling fans cost about 2 cents per hour to run, making it a very effective low-cost method of cooling your home. In the winter, you can reverse the direction of your fan’s blades to push the warm air near your ceiling down to the living areas below. The little black switch is located right at the base of your ceiling fan.
- Lower heating and cooling costs by increasing attic insulation with a minimum rating of R-30 and sealing any air leaks that you find. If you have less than R-30 (about 11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose), add more for increased comfort and savings.
- Add insulation to your walls with injected foam insulation to keep your cool air inside and the hot air outside (reverse in the winter).
- Seal air leaks in your ductwork and around your home. You can try DIY air-sealing techniques, but it is recommended that you schedule a professional home energy audit and seal your air ducts with Aeroseal duct sealing technology.
- Seal and insulate the garage as well. Proper insulation of your garage can save you around 15% off your heating and cooling bill.
- Go around your home and make sure you are not blocking any air vents with furniture, drapes, other objects. Don’t close your vents in unused or little-used rooms either as this will disrupt your HVAC system’s airflow. Learn more about why you should not close or block any of your vents here.
- Consider adding rugs to help retain heat in the winter and provide extra insulation for your home.
- In the summer, make sure you are paying attention to the sun and where it is shining into your home. Block the sun’s rays from entering your home by installing drapes, curtains, and shutters. When the sun is out close and shade your windows.
- Conversely, in the winter, you should use the sun’s help to heat your home. Leave the shades and blinds open during the short winter days.
- In addition to shades and drapes, consider heating and cooling concerns when planting trees and other plants around your home. Not only do they help shield the sun’s rays, but they are also used to shield the winter wind. Help the planet and your wallet with strategic tree planting:
- Replace your old HVAC system with a newer, more efficient one. This could cut your heating and cooling bills in half. Learn whether you should repair or replace your air conditioner here.
Plumbing and Water Conservation
- For plumbing and water-savings, consider adding low-flow fixtures around your home to reduce your water use.
- Wrap your hot water heater in an insulation blanket and lower its temperature from the standard 140 degrees to a more manageable and energy-efficient 115-120 degrees. For more hot water heating tips, read this article.
- Other water-saving techniques include turning the water off when brushing your teeth or washing your face, taking shorter showers, and investing in water-saving landscaping techniques, such as xeriscaping. Consider xeriscaping around your outdoor HVAC unit to reduce the need for cleanings and maintenance. Watch this video for more xeriscaping information:
Additional Energy-Saving Tips
Call Pacific Air Systems for an experienced technician to come service or replace your equipment today!
Since 1984, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma, and Gig Harbor.