Save Energy in 2014
It’s a new year, and that means new resolutions. Whether this is the first year you’re looking for ways to save energy or you want to lower your energy bills even more than last year, check out the eight strategies for saving energy in an infographic from the Department of Energy:
Infographic by Sarah Gerrity, Energy Department. Updated January 2, 2014.
1. Install and set a programmable thermostat. You could save an estimated 10 percent per year on heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat, and by resetting it when you are asleep or away from home, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat at home, give us a call; we will have the right option for you.
2. Use sunlight to your advantage. During winter, you can take advantage of sunlight by opening your curtains during the day to allow the sun to naturally heat your home.
3. When replacing appliances or purchasing electronics, look for ENERGY STAR appliances, fans and electronics. Your home’s appliances and electronics account for close to 20 percent of your energy bills. Using ENERGY STAR® certified products — which incorporate advanced technologies that use 10-15 percent less energy and water than standard models — throughout your home could save nearly $750 over the lifetime of the products.
4. Choose energy-saving lighting. About 10 percent of the energy your home uses goes to lighting costs. By just replacing five of your home’s most frequently used lights with energy-efficient ENERGY STAR bulbs, you could save $75 a year in energy costs. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs can yield as much as 75 percent energy savings and last six-times longer. You can get even more energy savings, longer life span and less wasted heat by switching to ENERGY STAR LEDs.
5. Use an electronic power strip for your electronic equipment. Many electronic devices and equipment continue to consume unnecessary energy even when not in use. Often called energy vampires, these devices cost families about $100 a year. Use a power strip for electronic devices and turn it off when not in use to eliminate energy vampires. And be sure to unplug your chargers — they draw energy even when they aren’t connected to a device.
6. Reduce energy for water heating. Water heating is a large energy expense in your home, accounting for about 14-18 percent of your utility bills. By taking low-cost steps, you can reduce your water heating bills. Make sure your water heater is set to no higher than 120 degrees.
7. Hire a professional to maintain your heating and cooling system. Call us to arrange your annual maintenance. Enroll in our Smart Club today, and enjoy the peace of mind of having the experts perform maintenance on your heating and cooling system, all year round.
8. Consult a home performance contractor to achieve large savings. Heating and cooling can account for as much as half of the energy bill. However, once you are certain that your equipment and distribution system is running efficiently, you can hire a professional to make recommendations to homeowners on how to improve the overall energy efficiency of your homes (sealing air leaks, adding insulation, etc.).