We all want to save money and being smart with our energy usage in the home is a great way to do that and help the planet too! Here are a few key things you can do to conserve energy and lower your utility bills, in warm weather and cold!
Pools–did you know they often consume as much energy as the entire house??
Check your equipment. Be sure it’s in good working order, replace if necessary, and then adjust your pump schedule–no more than 12 hours/day in summer and considerably less in off-season.
Keep the filter clean–a clogged filter makes the pump work harder which means more energy use.
Pool cleaning devices (e.g. a Polaris)–run when/as needed, not necessarily on a set schedule. If you have a lot of trees around your pool, you’ll need to run it more often at certain times of year and less often in others.
Indoors–stop air leaks. Just like your mom and dad said, no need to air condition or heat the entire neighborhood!
Close your chimney flue in warm weather when the fireplace is not in use
Check your weather stripping around the doors–and remember the door into the garage too!
Kitchen/bath exhaust fans–check that the flaps close when not in use
Have your a/c ducts tested for leaks–no need to be sending hot or cool air into the attic!
If you have windows on the south and/or west sides of your home, shade them to block the afternoon sun. If you get strong sun in the morning, shade the east-facing windows too.
Roof overhangs and correctly-sized awnings help with shade, reduce glare and eye-strain, and help keep rain off windows so they stay cleaner and last longer.
Solar screens help as well. Even the regular bug screens help block sun.
During the sunniest parts of the day, close shades and shutters–not the most effective because the glass still heats up, but every little bit helps!
Outside–help block sun here too
Use lighter-colored paint and trim. If you have brick/stone/stucco, go for lighter colors as well.
Use lighter colors on the roof also–helps reflect the heat. Radiant barriers underneath the roof covering help too. Consult a roofing professional for other suggestions and advice on retrofitting an existing home.
Indoor lighting–it’s not just the bulbs!
Take advantage of natural light as much as possible–you don’t have to pay for it!
Open blinds, drapes, shutters on windows that are not where the sun beats the most.
Again, choose light colors. Light colors reflect the light to help you see what you’re doing and reduce the need for extra lighting/energy use. They reduce eye strain as well.
Use task lighting rather than overhead/recessed lighting. Less is needed when the lighting is closer to what you’re doing. Increased efficiency = lower cost
Use fluorescent and LED bulbs. They’re cooler and more energy efficient.
Appliances–Energy Star when possible.