Now that we are deeper into Michigan’s winter, you might be looking at that thermostat and wondering if you can turn the heat up a bit. Worried about what that will do to your bill?
There are many places inside a home you can look at to improve how it uses energy (electricity, gas).
Energy efficiency means you are using less energy to do the same jobs, reducing your home’s energy waste and saving money. To effectively increase your energy efficiency involves more than just using less energy – it requires you becoming aware of how energy is used, where it’s wasted, and how it can be used more effectively and efficiently in everyday life. Here are some top tips to help your home or business save energy and be more efficient.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
- Change your light bulbs to LEDs.
- Wash your clothes in cold water if possible.
- Air seal your home. Sealing cracks, gaps and leaks and adding insulation can save up to 10% on home heating and cooling costs.
- Clean or replace all filters in your home regularly. Dirty filters make your system work harder and run longer than necessary.
- Use your microwave instead of your stove when cooking.
- Defrost your refrigerator and freezer before ice buildup becomes 1/4-inch thick to ensure your appliances are running efficiently.
- During warmer months, close blinds, shades and drapes on the sunny side of your home to help keep your home’s temperature cooler and reduce the work for you AC. Open shades during cooler months to let the sun warm your home.
- Don’t peek in the oven while baking! Every time you peek, the temperature can drop 25 F, making your oven use more energy to bring the temperature back up.
- Use natural light when possible.
- Control your fixtures with a photocell or a timer to assure dusk-to-dawn only operation of your outdoor lights.
- Don’t leave your electronics on all day long. Only turn on your computer, monitor, printer and fax machine when you need them.
- Set your thermostat to 78F in the summer and 68F in the winter – every degree of extra heating or cooling will increase energy usage 6% to 8%. Setting your thermostat to a lower temperature than normal will not cool your home faster.
- Using your ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.