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15 Secrets to Cutting Down on Energy Usage in a Home

Posted by Howell's Heating & Air on June 16, 2017
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So you have your dream house. Soon after getting it you’re going to start thinking about what every homeowner thinks about: How can you go about cutting down on energy usage in your home? Luckily for you we've got 15 tips for you on ways to do just that!

Secret #1: Maintain Your HVAC System

Make sure to change your furnace filter once a month because dirt and dust will quickly clog up the system.  Also, have your heating system inspected regularly. An annual inspection can reduce heating costs by 5%. You may also want to decide if you HVAC unit is worth the repair or a full replace?

Secret #2: Set the Water Heater to 120 Degrees

Setting the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees, which is halfway between low and medium, saves energy. It also prevents scalding and hinders harmful bacteria from growing.

Secret #3: Stop those Sneaky, Little Leaks

Do you ever look around your house and see tons of cracks, openings and gaps around doors, windows, holes and plumbing? If you stop up these small leaks, you can reduce your energy usage by 10% and save $50 to $170 yearly. So go ahead and get started weatherstripping and caulking up those areas.

Secret #4: Add More Insulation in the Attic

Do you want to cut heating costs by 20% and cooling costs by 10%? Then make sure you have 12 inches of insulation in your attic. It’ll pay off.

Like our tips so far? Give them a try and contact us to save on energy usage!

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Secret #5: Plug Up the Chimney

An improperly closed damper can allow up to 8% of your furnace-heated air to escape up the chimney. Make sure the damper is tightly closed to stop this sneaky energy loss.

Secret #6: Use a Smart Thermostat

A Smart thermostat that you’ve programmed to turn on and run only while you're home, ensures you don’t waste money heating or cooling an unoccupied home. You can take it a step further and invest in a Smart thermostat with sensors that detects when you’ve come home in order to kick on.

Secret #7: Use Home Automation

Dimmers, occupancy sensors, motion detectors, timers and photocells have so many energy-saving uses; here’s two. They can be set to only turn on the lights when you’re home or when you need it. They can also control blinds to open to allow the sunlight in and close to shut out the cool night air. Even something as simple as a scheduled thermostat can save you money.

Secret #8: Put a Lid on It

Something as simple as using lids on pots and pans cuts down energy usage by reducing your cooking times. Don’t put a small pot on a large burner, that’s a waste of heating energy too.

Secret #9: Repair Leaky Duct Work

Improperly sealed and poorly insulated duct work causes energy waste. Houses can lose 20% of their cooled and heated air through leakage to the outside.

Secret #10: Use Mother Nature

Close blinds and curtains at night to keep out the cold night air. During the day, open them to allow the sunlight to heat up the room.

Secret #11: Adjust the Thermostat while You’re Gone

When you’re leaving the house or going to bed, raise the thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees during the summer and drop it between 68 and 66 degrees during the winter.

Secret #12: Plan Your Landscaping

Strategic landscaping can cut down on energy usage. Trees strategically placed around your house provides shade, which reduces the demand on your air conditioners. They can reduce cooling costs by 25% and save you between $100 to $250 a year.

Secret #13: Repair All Leaky Faucets

Leaky faucets, especially those that leak hot water, are a real energy waster. One drop every second has the potential to add up to 165 gallons of water a month.  Imagine: A bathtub holds up 20 gallons, so a leaky faucet equals a little over eight full bathtubs of wasted water a month.

Secret #14: Don’t Bathe, Shower

As we know from the previous point, filling up a bathtub takes about 20 gallons. A quick, five-minute shower only uses 7.5 gallons of hot water.

Secret#15: Use Energy Efficient Bulbs

Did you know that 10% of home energy costs are made up of lighting? If you use compact fluorescent bulbs, CFLs, you can save up to 75% of your energy expenditure. These bulbs also last longer, which saves money.

Secret #16: Change the Location of Appliances

Who knew that the location of a lamp or TV could affect your energy outlay? Well, it does. When you station a lamp, TV or any other “heat-producing” appliance near a thermostat that regulates your air conditioning, the thermostat may sensethe heat and run the air conditioner longer. Keep them separate and save on costs.

There are Many Ways to Cut Down on Energy Usage in Your Home

Pick and choose what works for you. Rest assured, though, the more options you choose, the more you’ll see energy usage drop in your home. If you need help, contact Howell's! Our team of licensed AC repair technicians in Richmond is always at your disposal. We are here for all the residents from the surrounding areas, and we offer time-efficient AC repair assistance in Midlothian, Short Pump, and beyond!

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Topics: energy efficiency, energy savings, HVAC Effeciency, home automation

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