Whether you want to be more environmentally-conscious, save some money, or both, reducing your energy consumption will help you achieve your goal. While energy is often associated with comfort, there are several ways you can save energy without sacrificing your comfort. Here are some simple ways you can conserve energy in your home:
- Reverse your ceiling fans. Many ceiling fans have a switch that reverses the direction in which the blades move. In the summer the blades move counter-clockwise to put up hot air, but in the winter you can set your fans to move clockwise. The clockwise motion allows the fan to trap in the heat and push it back down.
- Use your thermostat to your advantage. Programmable thermostats can be programed to different temperatures depending on your schedule. For instance, if you work a 9-to-5 job, you can program the thermostat to set your home to a lower temperature while you’re at work, and then heat up again right before you come home. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat back 10 or 15 degrees while you are away or asleep to save an estimated 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. When you’re home and awake, keep your thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature.
- Maintain your furnace. A clean furnace and vents can help you save energy. Check your furnace filter once a month, and replace it as needed. Also avoid placing furniture in front of or on top of the furnace or vents, as furniture will absorb the heat.
- Utilize the sun. During the day, open the curtains and window treatments on your south-facing windows to allow the sunlight to naturally heat your house. Close the curtains once the sun goes down to retain heat and minimize chill from cold windows.
- Bundle up. Rather than bumping up the thermostat, put on some cozy socks and a sweater to warm you up. Also keep warm blankets on the sofas for you to curl up in if you get chilly, and throw an area rug on hardwood and ceramic floors.
- Seal air leaks. The average home loses the most heat from air leaks and drafts. To prevent cold air from getting in and heat from escaping, use caulking and weatherstriping to seal drafty doors and windows.
- Apply a roof reflective coating. According to the roofing experts from TAMKO Building Products, reflective coatings reflect heat and therefore save energy, as well as extend the life of your roof. Reflective coatings can be applied to existing roofs, including those comprised of asphalt shingles and concrete.
These are some simple ways you can reduce your energy bills this winter. By following these tips, you can save money and minimize your environmental impact.