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Bright Ideas For Energy Efficiency in Your Home

by pamyoakum-com March 28, 2019

When you’re sweating through the Texas summer or shivering through the winter, your home’s thermostat can become your best friend. However, as energy costs rise, you might be looking for ways to be more energy-efficient without breaking the bank or sacrificing comfort. Here are a few bright ideas to cut down on your energy bill.

Cooling

  • Fans blowing directly on you can make temperatures around you feel up to 4º cooler.
  • Set thermostat at 78º or higher when the house is occupied and at 85º when vacant.
  • Keep debris, high grass and other obstacles away from your air conditioner’s condenser so that airflow to the unit is not blocked.
  • Clean your AC condenser/evaporator coils at the beginning of the season.
  • Clean or replace filters at least once a month.
  • Caulk and weather-strip around your windows and doors.
  • Shade your outdoor AC unit. Plant trees to shade your windows.

“For every degree you raise the temperature, you add 3-5% to your electric bill.”

Heating

Heating a home takes two to three times more energy than cooling a home, so the work you do could add up to significant savings during the winter months.

  • Install plug outlet covers on any unused outlet. About 20 percent of the air that escapes your home escapes through outlet openings.
  • Install a glass fire screen to keep heated air from escaping through your chimney.
  • Insulate indoor water pipes in unheated spaces.
  • Inspect insulation to make sure it’s not blocking ducts or vents. Blown-in insulation can settle over time and may need to be fluffed up or increased.
  • Set your thermostat at 68 degrees. For every degree you raise the temperature, you add 3 to 5 percent to your electric bill.
  • If your home uses a heat pump, raise the thermostat setting two degrees at a time when adjusting the temperature. This will avoid running the compressor and supplemental heat at the same time.
  • Effective caulking can help prevent air from entering and escaping through cracks and gaps around windows and doors.
  • Caulk when the temperature is over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the weather is too cold, the caulk may not adhere.
  • Caulking should be used only on joints that don’t open or close, such as the seam between a window frame and a wall.
  • Although most caulk lasts at least 25 years, settling makes it necessary to check your home for cracks in the caulk every few years.

Insulation

  • Find holes and patches in your house where air can invade and fill it up with plastics or weather strips so that your heating and/or cooling system will not be overworked.
  • Remember to keep all doors as well as windows closed at all times.

Lighting

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Keep the dust off lampshades and light bulbs. It can reduce lighting levels as much as 50%.
  • Change your bulbs to fluorescent. Fluorescent light bulbs use 70% less electricity than regular light bulbs, give off five times more light, emit 90% less heat and last 10 times longer.
  • Use LED lightbulbs— not only do they last longer, but they are also more energy efficient. Their lifespan is not affected by how often they’re turned on or off, they’re quite durable, and they have flexible voltage requirements

Refrigerator & Freezers

  • Set the temperature between 36º and 38º. Freezer temperatures should be between 0º to 5º.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator rather than on a countertop. Not only is it safer, but frozen items will help cool the refrigerator as they defrost and help reduce its running time.
  • Freezers work better fully loaded, but remember to leave enough room for air to circulate.Make sure your refrigerator and freezer doors seal properly.

“Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator rather than on a countertop. Not only is it safer, but frozen items will help cool the refrigerator as they defrost and help reduce its running time.”

Cooking

  • Microwave ovens use up to 70% less energy, cook food up to 75% faster, and produce much less heat than an electric or gas oven.
  • Using covers on pots will bring liquids to a boil more quickly and allow continued cooking at lower temperatures, reducing energy use and heat in the kitchen.

Other Appliances

  • Wash/dry full loads of clothes and use cold water as much as possible.
  • Never put lamps, TV sets and other heat-generating gadgets beneath a wall-mounted thermostat. Rising heat from these appliances may trigger your conditioning system to overwork.

NEST Learning Thermostat

Stop Wasting Energy!

  • Your thermostat controls about 50% of your energy bill – that’s as much as the refrigerator, lighting, TVs, stereos and computers combined. Problem is, a lot of that energy is wasted heating and cooling an empty home.
  • Programmable thermostats were supposed to help, but 89% of people don’t even bother to program them. They’re just too complicated.
  • Nest is simple. Its slim design is enclosed by a solid stainless steel ring and works with 95% of low voltage systems.
  • Nest is designed to be a quick, easy install: three out of four people install Nest themselves in 30 minutes or less. If you’re comfortable installing a light fixture, you can install Nest. Everything you need comes in the box. Too busy? Learn more about Nest Certified professional installation at 855-4MY-NEST.Control from your Wi-Fi Connected Nest Account
  • Simply connect the Nest Learning Thermostat to your home Wi-Fi to control it from a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Change the temperature, see and adjust your schedule or settings, and see exactly how much energy you’re using.
  • Detailed Energy History is available on the Mobile and Web app for the last 10 days and Nest sends you an energy summary every month with tips to help you save more.
  • Nest is secure, private, and reliable. Nest supports HTTPS, SSL and 128-bit encryption.
  • Check your local energy suppliers for special offers on Nest thermostats

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Pam Yoakum

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