10 Ways to Conserve Energy in Your Home
One of the worst parts of being a homeowner is getting your monthly bills – especially the electric bill. Depending on the size of your home, your bill can be hitting triple digits each month. There must be a way to conserve energy.
There are many ways you can lessen the energy usage in your home to help save money. From unplugging electronics to buying energy efficient products, we’ve come up with 10 ways you can lower energy usage in your home. Let’s get started!
1. Turn Off Lights When You Leave the Room
Turning off the lights in rooms not in use is probably the easiest way to conserve energy in your home. You’ve probably heard it a ton as a child and you’re telling your kids to do the same. In the end, it makes a huge difference in your energy bills.
It’s impossible to tell how much energy you’re saving by turning off your bulbs. Wattage, the length your lights are left on and the amount of lights all play a role in how much energy you’ll save.
There is one other thing you should consider.
Buy Florescent Bulbs
Buying florescent bulbs will conserve a lot more energy than a traditional incandescent bulb. They last a lot longer (2,000 hours vs 15,000 hours), use much less power, operate at a cooler temperature and have less of an aging effect.
The amount of energy saved is based on how each bulb works. Incandescent bulbs heat the filament in the bulb causing them to get very hot and emit light. On the other hand, fluorescent bulbs send an electrical discharge through an ionized gas.
2. Replacement Windows and Doors Save Power
Believe it or not, the type of windows and doors you have in your home can significantly change the amount of energy your home uses. We’ll go over which style of each is best for your home.
First things first – don’t keep single pane windows in your home. Double and triple pane windows are thicker and are argon gas-filled. Argon gas is very dense making it hard for air to pass through the glass and escape your home, or for outside air to come in.
Once you’ve decided on double or triple pane windows, there’s another major thing to consider: the material they’re made from. Many homeowners are left choosing between three materials: wood, vinyl and aluminum. Of those three options, you’ll save the most money on your energy bills with vinyl.
Vinyl windows have foam insulated frames that make it difficult for your heated and cooled air to escape your home. That means your furnace and air conditioner will use less power to achieve your desired temperature, conserving energy in your home.
Adding windows to your home is also a great idea so you don’t need to use artificial light as frequently. Rather than using power to light your home, you’ll be able to use the sun for 10-14 hours per day. You’ll conserve a lot of energy this way.
Your doors also play a major role in preventing heated and cooled air from escaping. If your door is old, worn and has gaps between the slab and frame, you’re spending way more money on your bills than you need.
Steel and fiberglass entry doors are a strong alternative to wood doors. Much like the frame of the window, the entire door is foam-filled to keep your home more comfortable and your energy bills down.
It also helps to have a storm door for your entryway. Not only will they protect your doors from rain, snow, hail and debris blown by heavy winds, but they’ll add another layer of insulation. This is because it’s installed between your entry door and the outside. Your heated and cooled air have to travel through multiple insulated layers to escape your home.
Patio doors are unique because it depends on the style you get. French patio doors are basically entry doors and should be made from steel or fiberglass. However, sliding patio doors are basically windows. That means they need to have double or triple pane glass and be made of vinyl.
Whether it’s windows, entry, patio or storm doors, Feldco is here to help – we’ve been named America’s #1 Window and Door Company. Get a free quote now and see why 350,000 homeowners have trusted us.
3. Insulate Your Attic
Having a properly insulated attic is crucial – especially in the winter. It can be the difference between having large bills to being able to control how much you spend on utilities. Plus, your home will be much more comfortable.
The reason it’s so important to have good attic insulation in the winter is because heat rises and if there isn’t anything to stop it, it’ll escape through the roof of your home. That means your furnace is in a constant battle trying to keep up with the heat escaping. That’ll end up raising your heating and electric bills significantly. In fact, proper attic insulation can cut costs up to 20%.
To conserve energy, make sure your attic is functioning properly. There are a few ways you can check the insulation. The first is from the outside of your home. If there are large icicles and ice dams hanging from the overhang of your home, it may be time for new attic insulation.
Also, if the second level of your home gets cold quickly in the winter and warm quickly in the summer, your attic insulation could be to blame. The outside air is able to get into your home through the roof.
There are several different types of attic insulation. Whether its foam, fiberglass or cellulose, or its blown-in or boards, you have many different options available.
4. Unplug All Electronics When They Aren’t in Use
We’re sure you’ve heard your parents say to turn off the TV when you’re not watching or maybe you’ve said it to your own kids. However, that might not be enough to prevent energy usage. Whenever your electronics are plugged in ,they’re still using power.
This phenomenon is called phantom electricity. Believe it or not, even if your TV is turned off, it uses 1.3 watts of power per hour and that’s only for a 32 inch TV. The larger the screen, the more power it’s using.
While that might not seem like a lot, the same could be said about everything. DVDs, video games, treadmills, computers and anything that uses electricity is using power even when they’re turned off.
No one wants to go through their house and unplug every single plug when they’re not in the room. The best bet is to have a power strip with 5-7 outlets in it. Then you’ll only need to plug and unplug one thing and it will save time.
Some homes even have the outlets powered by a light switch. It’ll give you the ability to turn off the power to a set of outlets with the flip of a switch. You’ll be saving money on your utilities in no time.
5. Clean Your Furnace and Air Conditioner Regularly
Your furnace and air conditioner might use the most power in your entire home. This is because you rely on them so heavily to make your home comfortable and regulate the temperature. If they’re not cleaned properly, they won’t operate correctly and in turn use more power.
We recommend turning off your power to clean the AC unit or your furnace. You’re working with two large devices that use a lot of electricity. You want to eliminate as many risks as humanly possible.
For your AC unit, you’ll want to open it up and rinse off and clean the inside. This will loosen and remove any built up dirt and debris. You’ll also want to clean the fans on the outside with a cleaning spray. You can find them at any hardware store.
The fins of your AC unit may be bent and restrict air-flow. You’ll need to bend them back into place in order to conserve energy. Using a butter knife, gently push the fins back into their rightful spot. Be careful not to push too hard and damage the fins.
It’s very important for your AC unit to be level otherwise it can cause compressor failure. Over time, the pad which the unit sits on can tip. This is due to the soil setting beneath it. You’ll need to hire a professional to ensure your unit is level and working properly.
Before doing anything, check your furnace filter. One of the easiest ways to conserve energy is to replace your furnace filter every couple of months. When it gets dirty, your furnace and air conditioner face more stress. Plus, it’s a fire hazard and could ignite if ignored for too long. This is the only cleaning you can do without turning off the power to the furnace.
If replacing the filter doesn’t help, you’ll need to do some real cleaning. Start with the evaporator coil. There are no rinse coil cleaners available that will help you get them looking and operating as good a new.
You may also want to take a look at the evaporator drain. With the warm and humid air blowing through the drain, it’s susceptible to mold, mildew and algae build up. Also, a plugged up drain can cause flooding which can damage your walls and floor.
6. Only Run Your Dishwasher When It’s Full
Your dishwasher uses a lot of power. It requires electricity, heat and water in order to get your dishes clean. That’s why it’s important to only run your dishwasher when it’s completely full. It’ll conserve energy and water at the same time.
No matter if you have a full washer or only 1 plate, it’ll use the same amount of water to get them clean. If you’re running your dishwasher multiple times per day, your bills will be through the roof.
7. Vinyl Siding Will Conserve Energy More Than Other Home Exteriors
If you really want to conserve energy, your home exterior is something you need to consider. Since 35% of your home’s heated and cooled air escapes through the walls, it’s something that needs to be addressed.
You have many options of home cladding to choose from, but only one can ensure that your home remains comfortable year round: vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is designed to keep your home the perfect temperature no matter how cold or hot it gets outside.
It’s able to do this thanks to the foam insulation boards installed beneath the panels. Think of it like a giant blanket that’s wrapped around your home. Similarly to the foam in the windows and doors, it keeps heated and cooled air inside will keep the outside temperature away.
Wood siding on the other hand doesn’t have the foam insulation boards so heated and cooled air can escape much easier. Aluminum is even worse. It’s a great conductor of heat so during the summer, it’s hot to the touch. That translates into an uncomfortable home and very high energy bills.
Feldco is here to help you conserve energy. Our vinyl siding is perfect for your Midwest home and will save you money on your energy bills.
8. Weatherize Your Home in the Winter
Preparing for the winter is important in conserving energy. If you don’t, you’ll be spending money you don’t need to and could even cause damage to your pipes. We’ll go over a few of the most important things you’ll need to do to weatherize your home.
Start by checking the caulk around your home. Gaps between your window or door frames and home exterior can cause many problems. Your heated and cooled air will be able to escape and you’ll start using more power to achieve your desired temperature.
Make sure your chimney flue is closed when you’re not using your fireplace. Think of your chimney like another entry to your home – you’ll want to keep it airtight so you keep out the unwanted outside weather.
If you don’t have a chimney flue or it’s not working correctly, invest in repair or replacement. In the meantime, inflate a chimney balloon. They work similarly to a chimney flue and they plug up the opening.
During the winter, you’ll want to wrap the pipes in your basement. It’ll help them stay a consistent temperature and help your furnace and water heater work better, helping conserve energy. Plus, if they’re not wrapped, they’re at risk of bursting.
9. Look for Energy Star Products
We’ve all seen the Energy Star logo. It’s a blue square that can be found on almost anything. Do you know what it really means? It means that those items are Energy Star Certified and will help conserve energy in your home.
When the sticker is found on TVs, dishwashers, washing machines and other large electronic devices, it means they use less power to perform their desired task. For instance, your TV won’t need as much wattage to operate and look good.
Some items can be Energy Star Certified without using any power such as windows, doors and siding. This is because they help you use less power throughout your home. They reduce the stress faced by your furnace and air conditioner.
When looking for new appliances or replacement windows and doors, it’s important to find Energy Star products to conserve energy. Feldco is proud to carry Energy Star Certified to ensure that your home looks and feels its best at all times.
10. Get a Foam-Filled Garage Door
Many people forget about their garage but you’ll be able to conserve energy with a few changes. For instance, your garage door can help you save money on your energy bills and use less power.
How you ask? If you have an attached garage, a foam-filled, steel garage door can help keep your home much more comfortable. This is because you’ll prevent heat from escaping through your garage.
Plus, getting window inserts on your garage door will allow natural light into your garage. This will prevent you from having to turn on the lights during the day. If you use your garage as a work shop or extra living space, window inserts are a crucial addition to your garage door.
You have nearly limitless option with your garage door from Feldco. Our foam-filled, steel garage doors have many different panel, color and window insert options available. We even have carriage style garage doors to add a little elegance to your home’s exterior.
Conserve Energy With These 10 Tips
There are so many ways you can conserve energy with your home – these 10 just happen to be our favorites. Every little bit you can do will have an impact on the bottom line. Who doesn’t love saving money?
Windows, siding, doors and garage doors all have a major effect on conserving energy. They lower the stress faced by some of your major appliances, prevent you from needing to turn on lights during the day and will help your home look its best.
Don’t wait until your bills get out of hand, get a free quote from Feldco today. Your replacement windows, siding and doors will pay for themselves in no time thanks to the money saved on your energy bills.