With ever-rising energy costs, it makes sound economic sense to review the following points to determine where you can cut energy consumption for you home.
- Check for your home for air leaks. You may be able to save 10 percent or more on your energy bill by reducing the air leaks in your home. On a windy day, carefully run a lighter or smoke stick around windows and door joints, and at electrical outlets and light fixtures. If the flame or smoke is drawn toward or forced away from the object, you have found an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weather-stripping.
- Maintain your heating and cooling system. The energy used to heat or air condition a house can account for more than half of the average family’s energy bill. Make sure your heating and cooling systems receive professional maintenance each year. If it is time for a new system, consider that the savings benefit for installing a new higher efficiency system can often be recouped in several years. Installing a heat pump may trim the amount of electricity used for heating and cooling by 30 to 40 percent in some climates.
- Close fireplace dampers when not in use. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes, too – 24 hours a day!
- Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely. In just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.
- Adjust drapes or blinds on your south facing windows during the day in the winter to allow sunlight in to help naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. In the summer, use drapes or blinds to reduce solar heat gain during the day.
- Turn off energy users when not in use. Individually, a small household appliance does not use much energy; but add up all the devices in the typical modern home, you will see that getting all family members to develop the habit of regularly turning off unused devices can have a noticeable effect on energy costs.