Important Energy Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

Everyone likes saving money, but not everybody sees the connection between energy-conscious behavior and extra money in the bank. But the way you use energy in your home will have a direct impact on your monthly power bills, meaning that if you focus on energy-efficiency in your home, you'll save money.

energy-efficiencyNot only that, but you might be helping to save the planet too, depending on what kind of power you have coming into your home. Here are three tips for homeowners to improve energy-efficiency and keep more money where it belongs—in your wallets!

1. Use Your Programmable Thermostat Wisely

Programmable thermostats are incredible inventions that can help you save energy (up to 10 percent on your power bills) because they make it easier to regulate the temperature in your house depending on the time of day. The way to use a programmable thermostat most effectively is to set the temperature higher or lower—depending on the time of year—when everybody is sleeping, out of the house, or on holiday.

Keep the temperature inside less comfortable when everyone is asleep or away: Program the thermostat to make the house cooler in winter and hotter in summer when everyone is asleep, out of the house during the day, or when you go on holiday. This will ensure the furnace or A/C come on less (or not at all), and you will save a great deal of energy.

Keep the temperature inside comfortable when everyone is home and awake: On weekday mornings, weekday evenings, and on weekends, use the thermostat to keep the house at a comfortable temperature for everybody. Program the thermostat to have the furnace or air conditioner kick on about an hour before everyone wakes up and comes home in the evening.

Save energy by changing the normal temperature in your house: If you can stand it, turn the thermostat up or down by a few degrees to give the furnace or A/C a break: every degree of difference will result in more energy and money savings. If possible, set the thermostat to stay around 68 F in winter, and change to 78 F in summer.

2. Don’t Use What You Don’t Need

Lights, electronics, and appliances should be turned off if they aren't in use, and ones that are used less frequently should even be unplugged. In fact, you should unplug most of your appliances any time you go away for a night or longer. This is because appliances and electronics still consume power even when they aren't on, and this includes:

  • DVD players
  • Televisions
  • CD players
  • Receivers
  • Microwaves
  • Chargers
  • Any other appliance or device with lights or display panels

Unplug it all when you go on holidays: The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy hogs in your house, so if you aren't going to be using it for a week or so when you're away on vacation, turn it off. Before you go, eat up all the food in the fridge and freezer so you can turn it off and unplug it when you're gone. And this goes for all the other electronic devices and appliances as well.

home-energy-efficiency3. Keep the Water Cold for Clothes

Your washing habits can definitely be maximized for energy-efficiency, including only running full loads, spin drying clothes again before drying them (this will decrease drying time), and using cold water for laundry.

When possible, use warm water settings to wash soiled clothes, and cold-water settings to wash mildly soiled clothes. This will save a great deal of energy, because the washing machine won’t have to heat the water.

There are a number of ways you can increase the energy-efficiency of your house, and every step you take will save you money and contribute to a greener planet.

For help with these tips, maintenance, repairs, or service, contact 831-219-8644 to speak with a professional at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air servicing the Santa Cruz, CA area.