Earth Day arrives every spring and reminds us about growth and sustainability. However, the annual holiday provides more than simply reducing, reusing and recycling. Yes, Earth Day provides an opportunity to examine our home energy consumption and find ways to save on energy through the spring, summer and all year long.
At SolvIt, we preach the benefits of preventative maintenance, which help monitor our everyday energy usage. Plus, routine maintenance keeps our homes in good shape.
But how do you save on energy throughout the year?
Home Energy Audits Reduce Wasted Energy
Home energy audits provide homeowners with a comprehensive assessment of how energy is used throughout their home. Many people believe the benefits relate solely to lower monthly utility costs, but the reduction in energy usage also helps create a green home that helps the environment.
At SolvIt, we are a certified home energy expert and our inspections are performed in conjunction with EnergizeCT as part of the Home Energy Solution Program. We are certified contractors with Eversource and UI and provide them with the necessary documentation to help process all available rebates that you are entitled to receive.
LED Light Bulbs Reduce Energy Consumption
LED bulbs reduce your home energy consumption. Every little bit helps and if more homes leverage the benefits of LED light bulbs and lighting, then there is the potential to have a large impact on energy savings around the country.
Not only can using energy-efficient LED bulbs at home lead to monthly energy savings, but there are also a variety of local rebates and other ways to finance LED lighting projects.
Insulate Your Home
Insulation remains the most important home improvement project a homeowner should make. In particular, energy efficient insulation improves home comfort and reduces utility bills, while helping the environment.
In simple terms: insulation blocks heat from entering the home in the summer and holds heat in during the winter, which results in a cooler home in the summer, warmer home in the winter, and lower energy bills year-round.
Air seeps through cracks in the attic and walls, so prevent warm air from leaking out of your home. As a result, insulate the attic, which accounts for about 30% of a cooling system’s energy consumption. Proper insulation, not only cuts down on excess noise, but more importantly permits better temperature and humidity control in your home, while saving up to 20% on your energy bill.
It’s that simple and it really works.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Find a qualified HVAC technician to inspect your cooling and heating system before the seasons change. In addition, maintaining an efficient HVAC system helps prevent breakdowns during a summer heat wave (or winter Nor’ Easter). During the annual review, ask the tech about providing a quick training. Understanding how your HVAC system operates (including the proper cleaning techniques) ensure the system running smoothly throughout the year.
As part of a routine HVAC maintenance, remember about replace the furnace and/or A/C filter. Your home HVAC system could need a repair for a laundry list of reasons including:
- Blower fan burnout.
- Faulty wiring, blown fuse, or tripped circuit breakers.
- Problems with your thermostat.
- Clogged filter.
- Ignition failure.
- Leaking pipes.
- Controls are not working properly.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Most new homes have a programmable thermostat, so set it a couple of degrees higher during the day to prevent the cooling system to turn on when nobody is home. Programmable thermostats can help save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs a year.
Plus, many utility companies include programmable thermostats within energy audits under their programs. Free upgrades that reduce wasted energy and improve efficiency sounds like a win-win!
Quick Tips to Save on Energy
- High Efficiency A/C Units
According to the Department of Energy, high efficiency AC units can reduce air conditioning energy usage by 20-50% and regularly cleaning or replacing filters.
- Energy Efficient Window Coverings
Window treatments, such as energy efficient blinds, help reduce the temperature if they are closed during the day and open at night.
- Use Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans help increase airflow, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without impacting your comfort. Many energy experts recommend setting the thermostat to 78 degrees, so a ceiling fan helps make the home feel much cooler, while reducing energy usage.
- Close Doors & Vents
If you spend most of your time in one room, then you can reduce energy usage by closing doors to adjacent rooms and avoid cooling unused areas of the house.
- Set the Water Heater
Many home energy experts recommend setting the water heater temperature to 120ºF.
Even with taking proactive measures and managing your energy usage, don’t let your energy bills go through the roof! On average, home cooling accounts for 6% of overall energy usage and typically spikes in the summer.
At SolvIt, we simply want to help homeowners enjoy their homes. If you have any questions on how to keep your home more comfortable, then don’t hesitate to call – we are here 24/7 to help!