Home Energy Saving Tips for Lower Energy Bills
At Oliver, we know that heating and cooling your home can account for up to 70% of your utility bills, but there are many things you can do to reduce energy bills – and they don’t require the service of a contractor. You can also take our Home Performance Test, where our performance experts analyze your home for energy leakage and recommend changes that will lead to lower energy bills.
Here are some of our top home energy saving tips:
- Modify the temperature of your home per season. If you are not home as much in the summer, set your thermostat for a higher degree so that your air conditioner doesn’t run as frequently. Do the same to your furnace, heat pump, or boiler in the winter. Changing the temperature by only 1 or 2 degrees can make a dramatic change to reduce energy bills.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat so your temperatures fluctuate automatically. You can set your thermostat to be higher or lower for your home during the day, depending on the season, so you aren’t heating or cooling an empty home.
- Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. These will last longer and save energy. And remember: if you must use an incandescent bulb, use a lower wattage one.
- Decrease the temperature on your water heater from the standard 140 degrees to 120 degrees. This will not only save you money on your monthly utility bills but could also prolong the life of the water heater since it is not working as hard.
- Check to make sure the weather stripping on exterior doors is in good shape and seals well. Also check your windows to make sure they seal properly and keep them locked to ensure that they are closed.
- Make sure you change the filter in your furnace or heat pump. Doing so prevents the machine from having to work harder to circulate air. This prolongs the life of your equipment and improves your indoor air quality.
- Have your air conditioning and heating system tuned-up for the season so that you are running at peak efficiency. Operating at peak efficiency will lower energy bills because the system doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job.
- Flip the fan switch on your thermostat into the “fan on” mode when cooling the house. This process will ensure that air is always being stirred to prevent hot and cold pockets from forming.
- Set air vents on the second floor to receive approximately 75 percent of the conditioned air. This will help even out the temperatures from the first to the second floor of the home.
- Keep the shades and curtains drawn to reduce the radiant heat of the sun.
- Install awnings or plant trees that will shade southern facing windows. This keeps the hottest rays of the sun from shining directly into the house during the summer.
- Install an attic fan to help ventilate some of the hot air out of the attic in the summer. Attics can reach temperatures of 140 – 150 degrees and can make the upstairs of a home warmer than it needs to be.
- Run a dehumidifier in your basement if it is humid. A dehumidifier in the basement will help to reduce the humidity levels in the home, making it more comfortable throughout the hot summer months.
- Clear or cut back shrubs and bushes from the outdoor HVAC unit. The sides of the unit require at least 12-18 inches of clearance for proper performance. In addition, keep fallen leaves, grass clippings, foliage and other dirt and debris away from your outdoor unit. And keep the a/c coils clean, following manufacturers’ instructions.
With these home energy saving tips, you can help lower your bills while keeping your family comfortable all year long.