Cooler weather is nearly here and now is a good time to start thinking about what you can do to lower your home’s energy usage this fall and winter.
Listed below are a few simple tips and reminders.
- Keep your thermostat settings as low as you comfortably can. This one is a no-brainer, but lower your thermostat a few degrees can have a significant impact over a month.
- Clean or change your filters monthly. Filter and coil maintenance have a dramatic impact on system performance and service life. Dirty filters, coils, and fans reduce airflow through the system. Reduced airflow decreases system performance and can lead to compressor damage if it continues for an extended period.
- Install a programmable thermostat. It is more inefficient and expensive to leave the A/C on all day than it is to turn it off or at least raise the thermostat. You will also make your air conditioner compressor work constantly and this is the biggest user of energy. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can have the air set to turn on thirty minutes to an hour before your return home and thus return to a comfortable temperature.
- Clean baseboard heaters, warm-air registers, and radiators. Ensure there are no blockages by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
- Turn off ventilating fans. Kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air in an hour, so be sure to turn off ventilating fans as soon as they have done the job.
- Let the sunshine in. Keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open during the Winter to allow sunlight to enter your home; keep them closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Close unoccupied rooms. If you have a room that is isolated from the rest of the house, simply close the door to conserve heat for the rest of the house.
- Do not manually set back a heat pump’s thermostat at night. Without a thermostat specifically designed for heat pump set-back, the electric resistance backup heat will engage when the thermostat is raised in the morning, resulting in much higher energy consumption.
- Check your dryer vent. Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside, but away from the condensing unit or heat pump. Outdoor coils that are impacted with lint or dirt can result in a large increase in your utility bills.
- Add insulation. Do not overlook important areas in your home where energy can be saved, including the ductwork of the heating and air conditioning system. Check the label on the insulation that you are purchasing. You want to make sure you are getting insulation that is best suited for your needs and application. A good insulation label will include a clearly stated R-value, which will tell you the resistance to heat flow. The higher the value is, the greater the effectiveness.