The average American home uses around 900 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Most of that energy is spent keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. With rising energy costs a major concern, knowing how to get the most out of a home in terms of energy efficiency has become increasingly important to West Palm Beach homeowners. With the following tips, you can save energy year-round while staying cool and comfortable.
Save Energy Year-Round, Starting Right Now
Saving energy isn’t something you have to wait on. There’s plenty you can do to make your home more energy efficient right this very moment. For example, you can replace each of your incandescent light bulbs with a compact fluorescent that uses only one-fourth of the electricity that incandescent bulbs use. Another way of curtailing excessive energy use is by turning down your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees. This also lowers the risk of scalding through excessively hot water.
Here are some other great tips for keeping your home’s energy use low and your wallet happy:
- Routinely inspect the air filters found on your furnace, air conditioner and/or heat pump, and replace them when they look dirty. A monthly inspection is the usual routine.
- If your appliances have an energy-saving setting, use it. The energy-efficiency setting found on most modern appliances can help you save on utility costs in the long run.
- If you have major appliances, such as a refrigerator or dishwasher, that are more than 10 years old, you may want to replace them with newer and more energy-efficient models. Look for the Energy Star mark of energy efficiency excellence.
- If you have a waterbed, consider making up your bed before you leave for the morning. Believe it or not, the covers provide insulation that helps save as much as one-third of the energy the bed uses.
Saving energy also can be done throughout the week. Here are a few things you can do to make your home more energy efficient in a week’s time:
- Take a trip to your hardware store and look for devices that can help you reduce your home’s energy consumption. These devices include low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators.
- If you have very leaky windows, use rope caulk to seal them up.
- Take a look at your heating and cooling system to see if improvements or upgrades are available that can help you save energy year-round.
What You Can Do This Month
There’s plenty more that can be done around your home throughout the month. Here are a few more tips to save energy year-round in your home:
- Take a look at the insulation in your attic or crawl space. Determine if there’s any in the first place and how much you’ll need to make your home efficient and comfortable.
- Add insulation around hot water pipes and air ducts that run through unheated areas.
- Have an energy auditor come in and assess your home’s overall energy efficiency. An auditor may also help you find and seal air leaks with the use of a blower door test and other high-tech equipment.
- Set your thermostat back whenever it’s practical for you to do so, such as when you leave your home for hours at a time. Having a programmable thermostat makes this task much easier, as it can be done automatically based on your settings.
Tips for the Rest of the Year
Keeping your home energy efficient is a long-term commitment. Throughout the rest of the year, you should consider doing the following:
- Insulation is the key to keeping your home both energy efficient and comfortable. Have a contractor come in to add additional insulation where needed.
- Give those aging, inefficient appliances the boot, even if they have a few years left in them. Replace these appliances with models offering superior energy efficiency.
- Schedule an HVAC tune-up during the spring and fall, prior to the demanding summer and winter seasons.
- Replace leaky windows with energy-efficient models or use weatherstripping to enhance their efficiency.
- Improve your HVAC system’s energy efficiency by inspecting and sealing air ducts.
To learn more ways you can save energy year-round, turn to the professionals at Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Inc. For more than 20 years, we’ve helped countless West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie homeowners get the most out of their home-comfort systems.
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