Simple Tips To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
How energy-efficient is your home? Make it more so with these easy and inexpensive ways to green-up your home. There’s a little work involved but the savings you’ll see on energy and fuel bills will make it worth the effort. The planet will thank you too!
Change to Compact Fluorescents
Traditional incandescent light bulbs use much of their energy to generate heat making them very inefficient. Compact fluorescent bulbs burn much cooler and actually give more light per watt of energy than their incandescent counterparts. Fluorescent bulbs are a little more expensive to buy but they do last much longer than incandescents, which means saving on both energy and money in the long run.
Clean Appliances Regularly
You can make your appliances more energy efficient simply by cleaning them more often. Look at the condenser coils on the back of your fridge for instance. Dust build-up on the coils is not only a fire hazard, it also means that your fridge uses more energy to cool the food inside. Take a few minutes to remove dust and cobwebs with your vacuum cleaner hose. Job done and energy saving begun!
If you have a hot air furnace, check that the filter is clean. You’ll want to look at it once a month to clean it or replace it as necessary. Before winter, get the furnace serviced to make it more efficient.
Your air conditioning unit will quietly gather dust as it lies unused during the winter months. In the spring, clean the condenser coils to make the unit more efficient. When you start using the unit, make sure it’s running at maximum efficiency. Escaping chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) inflict damage on an already depleted ozone layer and a sluggish machine is more expensive to run.
Similarly, check the lint-catcher on your tumble dryer and clean it regularly. If it’s clogged up with fluff, it will use more power and also increases the risk of a fire.
Tune Up Your Hot Water Heater
If you feel the side of your hot water heater and find that it’s warm, the unit is wasting energy. The easiest way to remedy this is to wrap the heater in an insulating blanket. You can buy one inexpensively at your local hardware store.
Each month, drain a few gallons of water out of the water heater. This helps to prevent corrosion from building up in the tank which means that the unit won’t have to work so hard to heat the water.
Seal in the Energy Savings
There’s no point in working hard to save energy if it is leaking out of your home as if it were a sieve. Make it an annual job to check the caulking around your windows, joints, and doors. A tight seal means that heated or cooled air can’t escape.
Any leaky windows or doors can be sealed with weather stripping. Singled glazed windows can be made more efficient during the winter by installing temporary DIY plastic storms.
If you have window air conditioners, remove them over the winter time. If you can’t remove them altogether, cover them with insulating material to stop them from allowing heated air to leak out.
Fireplaces can be made more efficient by replacing your open fire with a log burner. The glass window will still allow you to enjoy the flickering flames but the unit will be much more efficient at heating your home. If you don’t use your fireplace, block up the chimney to keep out drafts.
It’s really quite simple to make your home more energy efficient all year round. Make a note of these routine maintenance tasks on your calendar and look forward to a more energy-efficient, cost-effective home.
Image source: rwandapost.org
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies.