Home energy efficiency is about making seemingly small changes that add up to big savings for you and your family. Many homeowners and renters shy away from making any changes during the winter because it’s so cold and they worry that saving energy means a colder home – but that’s not the case at all! Here are 12 ways that you can live more efficiently, without wasting money, and still stay comfortable all season long.
Open your curtains during the day
When you wake up in the morning, add opening your curtains to your routine. When you leave your window coverings open on your south-facing windows during the day, you can naturally heat your home with the warming power of the sun.
Reduce heat loss through your windows
Did you know that up to 33% of your home’s heat loss occurs through doors and windows? According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), you can decrease up to 10% of heat loss from a warm room just by closing your curtains at night during the winter. “If curtains are hung close to the windows, they can help prevent as much as one-fourth of that heat loss,” says the NRDC.
Schedule no-cost home air sealing
“One of the best ways to stay warm is to make sure your home isn’t leaking heat,” says the NRDC. If you are a Massachusetts resident, you can get your home air sealed at no cost through the Mass Save® program. It takes minutes to sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment here and access your benefits.
The NRDC says:
- Caulking could save you 10%-20% on heating and cooling costs every year (up to $166/yr.)
- Save 5%-10% more every year on energy costs by weatherstripping your windows (up to $83/yr.)
Check your water heater temperature
Save up to $400 (NRDC) every year with this easy water heater tip. Check your water heater and if the temperature is set at 140 degrees, turn it back to 120 degrees. Don’t worry, you will still enjoy nice hot showers! It only takes a minute, but if you are having any issues, this is something we help homeowners check for during an assessment.
Look up at your ceiling fan
Don’t underestimate your ceiling fan – it can save you energy during the winter, too. To help circulate warm air during colder months, reverse the direction of the fan blades so that it pushes the warm air down to where you are in the room. When you look up at your fan, the blades should be spinning in a clockwise direction. (Summer = counterclockwise)
Lower the temperature in your home
“Heating your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up about 29% of your utility bill,” says the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
According to the NRDC, lowering the temperature setting on your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% every year on heating and cooling costs (approximately $83/yr).
Using the settings on your programmable thermostat is an easy and fast way to make sure that the temperature is lowered while you’re sleeping, at work, or on vacation – that way you don’t waste any energy. Don’t have a programmable thermostat? Get them here at no-cost through a Home Energy Assessment.
Want to go one step further? You can also get $100 off a smart thermostat when you complete the assessment.
Sign up for your preventative maintenance visit
Preventative maintenance is key to ensuring that your heating system is running its best (just like your car!), saving you energy and money. “Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in performance while energy use steadily increases,” says the U.S. DOE.
Unplug devices that keep you warm
You know not to leave your portable space heater on all night once you’ve left the room to go to bed, but are you unplugging it? Make sure that you’re not wasting money or energy while you’re not in the room with devices in idle mode – what about your coffee maker or microwave for your warm drinks? Use an advanced power strip to make sure that you’re not paying for a large phantom load.
Close your fireplace damper
When you’re not using your fireplace, keep the damper closed unless you have an active fire burning. Also, close the room doors when you have a fire going and lower the temperature on the thermostat.
Want to go a step further? Keep your fireplace cleaned and try adding glass doors with a heat-air exchange system, says the U.S. DOE.
Take a more efficient shower
We know how relaxing a hot shower can be during the winter but shortening your shower time can save you money and energy. Setting a timer is an easy and quick way to keep yourself on track.
If you don’t already have an energy-efficient showerhead, now’s the time to schedule your Home Energy Assessment to get one at no-cost. A typical showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute while an energy-efficient showerhead uses 1.5 gallons or less every minute.
Replace your system’s air filter
Outside of your regular preventative maintenance visits, there is one simple thing you can do to save energy and money all year long and that’s replacing your air filter. According to the U.S. DOE, “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your system’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.”
Turn your car off while waiting
It’s tempting to keep your car idling while you’re waiting for someone in the store or to warm it up before you head out for the day but doing that is negative for your wallet and the environment. If everyone stopped idling their personal vehicles, it would be equal to taking 5 million vehicles off the roads, says the U.S DOE. Click here to learn more about driving and saving energy.
Saving energy and money doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive! There are so many things you can do that take little time and money – and add up to make a big impact on your year-round energy costs. Want more tips to save? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn or read more on our blog here.
Want to schedule a no-cost Home Energy Assessment or Heating & Cooling Consultation? Click here to sign up online or call (781) 305-3319 and we can help you over the phone.
We’re here to help our Massachusetts neighbors save and we believe that together we can make our community and beyond a greener place.