Sure, there’s plenty of methods of reducing your energy bills during the warmer months, and while those tips are great for the height of summer, if you want to stay on top of your utility costs you’ll need to adapt some new strategies for those late summer/early fall months. We’ve got some tips here to help you stay comfortable and stay on top of costs through winter! Adjust Your Appliances
Colder weather generally means an increase in appliance and heater usage, but a great deal of energy can be saved through simply adjusting your household appliances. For example, the clothes dryer uses a large amount of energy heating the water. Instead, simply change the setting to cold water. While clothes washers can be stuffed full, the dryer will need at least one-fourth empty for proper movement and drying. When it comes to keeping your house warm, many people believe that closing vents will save energy, but it actually uses more. This is because closed vents will actually restrict the duct system, which causes an increase in air pressure and thus will make the HVAC system work harder to keep the air flow up.
You’re probably going to be using a lot more electronic devices indoors to keep your family entertained through the cold seasons, but it’s still good to watch your electrical usage. Many electrical products must be unplugged in order to be completely turned off. Standby power, also referred to as vampire power, is the energy used by electrical appliances when they are in standby mode. Standby power can consumes up to 10 percent of residential electricity usage. The most energy hungry appliances are entertainment electronics, such as DVRs, DVDs, satellites, and digital cable boxes. Even TVs, computers and cordless answering phones consume steady amounts of electricity when not in use. Always unplug any electronics and lights that are being used.
Older windows are notorious sources of air infiltration. Air leaks can be reduced through caulking the windows inside and outside casings. Installing weather stripping to the sash will also reduce air infiltration. Adding a storm window will not only provide extra protection, but also increase thermal insulation. If possible, consider upgrading older windows to energy efficient windows. For example, vinyl windows provide excellent insulation, noise reduction and energy savings. Keep in mind that shades don’t just keep the hot sun out, but they also reduce heat loss during cold weather. Finally, consider applying heavy-duty plastic sheets onto the inside window frame. Light-duty plastic sheets can be sealed with just a hair dryer.
Hopefully with these tips in mind you can keep your house home and your family amused without going over budget! Stay warm everyone, and try to enjoy summer while it lasts!