Cooler weather is here in Tennessee! While it is definitely a welcomed change from the oppressive heat and humidity, the winter season can be costly if your home is not energy efficient. All of us can make small changes in our daily routines to be more eco-friendly, therefore keeping our energy bills low. In addition to the little things, there are some bigger changes that you can make to your home. Living in the era of technology, there are many advances and smart devices that make it easy to be more energy efficient.
Read on to find out how you can make your home more energy efficient for colder weather and year round.
Easy, low-cost steps
Turn that thermostat down
While you're away from home, make sure you turn the thermostat down a few degrees. Even by taking the temperature down 3 to 5 degrees, you will notice a smaller electric bill. According to energy.gov, by lowering your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees while you aren't home, can save you 5% to 15% each year.
While you are home, instead of turning up the heat, put on some fuzzy socks and a cozy sweater.
Check your windows
An easy, inexpensive way to lower your energy cost is to seal gaps and cracks with caulk or weatherstripping.
Use your ceiling fans
You know that little switch on your ceiling fan? It actually has a purpose! It changes the direction the fan spins. When a fan spins counter-clockwise, it will push hot air up in the summer and clockwise will trap heat inside to keep your rooms warmer during cooler months. During the winter, turn your ceiling fan on a low setting to push hot air back down.
Keep space heater use to a minimum
If you think that using a space heater instead of your furnace will save you money, think again. Many space heaters use 1500+ watts of energy. If you have multiple throughout your house, that can quickly add up! If you do opt to use a space heater, make sure it is energy efficient and you use it safely.
Change your bulbs
Consider changing out your incandescent light bulbs for halogen, CFLs, or LEDs. These use significantly less energy and typically last much longer.
Holiday pro tip: Change your holiday decor to LED bulbs & save!
Unplug those chargers
Even when your mobile device chargers are not in use, they still draw power. Unplug them from the outlet to avoid racking up your energy bill.
Bigger steps to save
Tune up your unit
If you do not already, tune up your heat and air unit annually. This keeps your unit running efficiently and helps you avoid inconvenient repairs or premature replacement later on.
Add or improve attic insulation
Attic insulation helps seal air leaks and improve your home’s heating and cooling costs. Remember, hot air rises. You don't want dollar signs floating right out of your roof!
Buy Energy Star products
These products are designed to be energy efficient. You'll see the savings add up long-term.
Consider an energy audit
An energy audit assesses how much energy your home consumes and evaluates what steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may save you significant amounts of money over time when corrected. It typically costs around $250 - $650.
Install smart devices
There is a plethora of devices that you can choose from to improve the efficiently and convenience of your home. Consider installing something like smart blinds or a smart thermostat. Most are programmable and allow you to control them from your phone.
Let's save energy and money this season! If you are selling, performing some of these improvements can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
In the market to buy or sell? Contact the Experts! 615.815.1295.