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Tips for Energy Efficiency and Controlling Your Energy Spend
October 21, 2020
Whether the temperatures rise or fall, you can control how much you spend on your energy by being energy efficient at your home or business. Here are ten tips to help you do just that:
- Assess your energy usage. Find out how energy efficient your home or business is by either hiring a professional energy auditor or conducting a DIY audit yourself. The U.S. Department of Energy offers an energy calculator that can assist you in assessing your efficiencies and losses, as well as create a plan that considers how each change you make may impact the energy efficiency, comfort, health and safety of the entire home or building.
- Install LED lightbulbs where applicable. According to GE, there are a handful of advantages to installing LED lightbulbs. For starters, they use 50 percent less electricity than your traditional lightbulbs. Plus, they have a much longer lifespan overall. This simple switch will simultaneously reduce your energy usage and how often you need to purchase replacement bulbs.
- Invest in a smart, programmable thermostat. Trending upwards since the 2010s, smart thermostats are quickly becoming a staple item for mitigating heating and cooling costs. Smart thermostats’ automated technology gives homes and businesses greater climate control and eliminates wasted usage from human error. Some thermostats will even send an analysis of your monthly usage, as well as recommendations on how to improve your savings next month.
- Utilize smart power strips. Replacing your conventional power strips with smart power strips can directly impact your energy usage. According to Energy Star, smart power strips can be timer-equipped, motion-detected or sleep-mode management power strips. All three will power down unnecessary electricity flow, decreasing your usage.
- Unplug unused appliances. Sometimes making simple changes can help reduce energy consumption. Unplugging appliances, like coffee pots or toasters, when they are not being used can be impactful in reducing your energy spend.
- Properly use ceiling fans. When used properly, ceiling fans can make a big difference in providing a comfortable climate for your home or business. Be sure to rotate your fans counter-clockwise in the summer to push air down for a cooler feel. In the winter, warmer air tends to rise. To combat this, rotate your fan clockwise to move the warmer air back down throughout the room.
- Service your HVAC unit. An important part of energy efficiency is taking care of your heating and cooling systems. Routine maintenance and clean filters can keep your equipment running smoothly, requiring less hard work to produce the temperature you desire.
- Weatherize your home or business. Weatherization, such as upgrading insulation and sealing leaks around windows, doors and even electrical outlets can reduce energy bills and improve efficiency. Some states provide weatherization services if you meet the necessary criteria. Find out more about state-provided weatherization services here.
- Check for drafts from windows and doors. Examine your windows and doors for air drafts. Simply sealing these airways will help with heating and cooling efficiencies. There are many products available that can provide a quick fix. Check out these DIY ideas for draft-proofing by Simple Most, here.
- Communicate your changes. Lastly, an important step in accomplishing your energy efficiency goals is communicating the steps you’re taking and what everyone can do to help. If you invest in any of the ideas listed above, be sure to explain to the people you share your home or business with why you invested and how it will work to reduce your energy spend. Getting everyone on board to help with your cost-conscious movement will pay dividends to your energy efficiency effectiveness.
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