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5 Tips for a More Energy-Efficient Home

Everybody wants a lower monthly utility bill. But unfortunately, not everyone practices energy-efficiency in their home.

We’d like to see that change. We’ll share some tips that’ll make your home more energy-efficient, so you can start saving money every month.

Tips to save energy in your home:

  1. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat
  2. Open your blinds in winter, close them in summer
  3. Seal your air ducts
  4. Keep your water heater set to the right temperature
  5. Maintain your heating/cooling system

Let’s go into more detail about each of these tips...

#1: Upgrade to a programmable thermostat

EnergyStar estimates that you can save about $180 a year on energy bills by using a programmable thermostat.

That’s because with a programmable thermostat, you can automatically adjust your home’s temperature, making sure it’s not too high or too low, which saves energy and money. 

For example, during the summer, you can set your thermostat to raise the temperature 8°–10° while you’re gone for the day. And right before you get home, a programmable thermostat can automatically adjust to your desired temperature so you’re comfortable when you walk in the door. 

Interested in a programmable thermostat? We recommend the Nest Learning Thermostat as an easy-to-use smart thermostat that can save you 10–12% on your heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.

For more information about programmable thermostats, give us a call and check out these related articles:

#2: Open your blinds in winter, close them in summer

It may seem like common sense, but leaving your blinds open in the winter and closing them in the summer can reduce your energy bills.

That’s because in the summer, blinds keep out the sun, which can reduce heat gains by 45%. The less heat your home brings in, the less your AC has to work to cool off your home.

And the reverse is true, too: in winter, when you let heat enter your home, your heating system won’t have to work as hard to keep the temperature warm.

Head over to Energy.gov to learn more about blinds and other energy efficient window treatments.

#3: Seal your air ducts

EnergyStar estimates that in most homes, 20–30% of the air that moves through the ductwork is lost to leaks and poorly connected ducts.

That means your heating/cooling system has to work 20–30% harder to keep your house at the right temperature because warm/cool air is escaping through the leaks. And the harder your heating/cooling system works, the higher your energy bills will be.

The best way to prevent this problem is to have a professional inspect your air ducts to make sure there aren’t any leaks or holes. If they find any, they can seal them so air won’t escape from your ductwork any more.

For more information, read our related articles about duct sealing:

#4: Keep your water heater set to the right temperature

Most water heaters should be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. And for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature below 120, you’ll see a 3–5% reduction in energy costs.

Unfortunately, most water heater thermostats don’t show what temperature they’re set to—they only say “hot” or “warm.”

We’ll show you how you can find out what temperature your water heater is set to, and how to adjust the temperature on the thermostat:

  • Go to your kitchen sink and run the hot water until it gets to its hottest temperature. Then, take a thermometer and measure the temperature. 
  • If the temperature is greater than 120 degrees, go to your water heater and find the thermostat.
  • Adjust the temperature and then wait about 3 hours. Check the temperature again to make sure it’s at 120 degrees or lower.
  • Repeat the process until you get to your desired temperature.

For visual learners, watch this video published by the U.S. Department of Energy to learn how to adjust your water heater’s thermostat.

Want to know more about water heaters? Read our related articles:

#5: Maintain your heating/cooling system

As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. That’s a lot of energy! So it’s important to make sure your A/C/furnace/heat pump is well-maintained so you don’t pay more than you need to on your energy bills.

Follow these 3 easy tips on how to maintain your heating/cooling system:

  • Change your air filter regularly (once a month spring/summer/fall, and at least once every 3 months during winter). Simply changing your air filter helps your system run smoothly, which makes it more energy-efficient. 
  • Leave vents open—even in unused rooms. Often, homeowners think if they close supply vents in rooms they don’t use they’ll save money. But this isn’t the case. It actually makes your heating/cooling system work harder due to increased pressure in the ductwork. Again, more work for your heating/cooling system = higher energy costs.
  • Contact a professional to perform annual maintenance on your heating & cooling system. A professional needs to check your system every year to make sure all parts are clean and working correctly. If everything is well-maintained, you’ll save money on your energy bills and prolong the life of your equipment.

Need a professional’s help making your home more energy efficient?

Contact CoolToday to schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians. Whether you need heating/cooling, plumbing or electrical maintenance, we’ve got you covered.