Is Your Home at the Center of an Energy-Loss Vortex?
That’s not quite as far-fetched as it seems. See, your home comfort system worked very hard to keep you cozy all winter. Now with summer around the corner, you sure don’t want system wear and tear to create a black hole in your wallet. I think we all know how expensive space programs can be! In this section, we bring you crucial energy saving tips to cut down on your costs.
The good news?
The positive consequences of saving energy are undeniable: it reduces air pollution while reducing the cost of your energy bills.
But when some people hear the phrase “saving energy”, they think drastic measures – turning back time, living ruggedly and abandoning modern conveniences. Without going that far, you can take many steps to keep energy bills from soaring while also doing your part to protect the environment. These include:
- Turn off lights and equipment when not in use. This is a no-brainer, but easily overlooked by family members in a hurry.
- Replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Compact fluorescent lights use one-fourth the amount of electricity that incandescent lamps use, and they last seven times longer.
- Use free day lighting when possible, which relies on direct or reflected sunlight, as in the case of skylights. Interior design helps too. Furniture can be strategically located for the best use of available light, while bright interior colors can help reflect that light.
- Use task lighting, which allows lighting to be applied directly to a task rather than illuminating an entire room. A bright light over a desk or under-counter lights in the kitchen are examples.
- Control direct sunlight through windows. This is especially a concern in the summer, when sunlight can cause overheating.
- Install occupant sensors on lighting. Intended to detect activity within a certain area, they turn lights on automatically when someone enters a room, and reduce energy use by turning lights off when the last occupant leaves. This approach is also effective for outdoor security lighting.
- Maintain home comfort systems. At the start of each cooling (or heating) season, have maintenance performed on air conditioners (or furnaces) to keep them running efficiently.
- Regularly change/clean HVAC air filters. This is an easy, inexpensive step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Blocked, dirty air filters will make your system work harder, using more energy!