Did you know that 52% of your power bill is for heating and cooling your home? With everything going up thanks to the soaring gas prices at the pump, I wanted to share with you the following energy efficiency tips.
- Set your thermostats to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter. Each degree higher than 70° F can increase heating costs by 1-3%, and each degree below 78° F can increase cooling costs by 3-5% or more. We have a programable thermostat and love it. I can adjust the temperature in the house for the hours that we are not at home so that we can save more money and also have it programmed to be cooler when it's time for us to return. If you have a heat pump though it is best to check the manufacturer's recommendations before installing a programmable thermostat.
- Properly insulate your attic, walls and floors. Did you realize that the purpose of insulation is to resist heat either trying to come into your home in the summer or trying to get out in the winter? Generally power companies recommend R-30 for the attic, R-19 for the floors, and R-13 for your walls. But make sure you check your local building codes - just use whichever one is higher.
- Make use of those storm windows or double-paned replacement windows. In researching ways to save money, did you realize that if you have the single-pane windows, in addition to not providing great insulation value and resistance to heat flow that a lot of these windows also have metal frames, which conduct heat - that's right. They bring heat into the home in the summer and force it out of the home in the winter.
- It's important to make sure there are no gaps around your home's ductwork. This can cause your heating and cooling bills to increase by as much as 30%! It also allows air contaminants to enter your home. The best way to fix this problem is by sealing them with duct mastic.
- Have your heating and cooling systems professionally serviced once a year to keep them in tip-top shape. If you have an old system, consider having it replaced with a more efficient system.
- Check your refrigerator and freezer for any significant energy loss. Make sure they are as full as possible and that the seals are in good condition. Don't put refrigerators or freezers in unconditioned garages if possible.
- Switch to high effieciency Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than the traditional light bulb and they operate at cooler temperatures. We have even replaced all of the bulbs in our hallway lights with these - they are great.
- Change your filters once a month during the heating and cooling seasons. If you use pleated filters, change them at least every three months.
- Wrap electric water heaters in an insulated blanket. Make sure that you read all of the directions from the manufacturer.
- Check the caulk and weatherstripping around your doors and windows. If the caulk is cracked or the stripping is flat or peeling, replace it.
Now why not head over the Rocks In My Dryer and see what other tips bloggers are sharing today?