For most of us, fall has finally rolled around and that means your utility bills are dropping. Temperatures are cooler, you're using less air-conditioning and taking advantage of open windows and doors to get some fresh air.
It's also a great time to integrate new habits into your energy management practices. When you figure out how to improve your home energy efficiency, you can save more energy and pocket more money. Here are 10 tips that will keep you enjoying savings through winter and into the summer.
1. Turn Your Ceiling Fans Off When You Aren’t At Home
Ceiling fans circulate air to make you feel cooler, but they don’t actually cool your home. Turn them off when you leave to avoid unnecessary costs to your utility bill.
As it starts to cool down, you can also hack your ceiling fans into warming your home by making sure they turn clockwise to push warm air down. Still, don't run them unless you're in the room.
2. Run Your Dishwasher And Washing Machine At Night
Heavy-duty appliances like these produce heat. So running them in the heat of the day (even on a cooler day) can lead to your air conditioner working harder than it has to. Running them at night is more energy efficient!
3. Repair Leaks
Even small leaks increase your water bill. Not to mention, leaks that go unnoticed can cause major damage to your home. Periodically, once over your plumbing fixtures to see if any leaks are visible.
Don't forget to check around your doors and windows for air leaks as well, which can decrease your energy efficiency and increase the money you spend on utilities.
4. Only Cook With The Appliances You Need
An oven uses more energy than a toaster or a microwave. If you only need to heat something up, use a smaller appliance to save on your energy bill. It's more energy efficient to steam some vegetables in the microwave than on your stove for instance.
5. Keep Your Home In The Shade
Trees and landscaping around your home look pretty, but they also lower your utility bills. Shade helps to cool your home, which saves money in the warmer months.
Bonus points for planting trees that lose their leaves in the winter – letting in the extra sunlight will help warm it up inside. However, evergreen trees can also help block your home from wind in the winter if you live in an open, flat area.
6. Get Rid of Gross Dust
Dust is everywhere. But dust on your appliances, particularly on the coils, makes the appliance work harder and costs you more. Dust sitting on your lightbulbs keeps them from running at maximum efficiency too!
If you don't like dusting, buy an extendable duster. It makes dusting easier for hard to reach places and by enabling you to dust, saves you money on your utility bills.
7. Adjust Your Fridge And Freezer Temps
Ideal energy efficient fridge temperatures are between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal freezer temperature is around 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything colder than that, and you might as well throw your money in the freezer too.
8. Properly Utilize Your Water Heater
We all like a hot bath or a hot shower, but did you know that setting your water heater’s maximum temperature too high can cost you extra money?
Many water heaters default to 140 degrees, but most of us can get by at only 120 degrees. Dialing it down will help you increase your home water energy efficiency. Before you change anything – check the manual on your dishwasher. Many dishwashers require certain water temperatures to properly clean your dishes.
9. Use An Electric Fan
Electric fans are a great cooling tool, especially in the fall months when temperatures are not too hot or too cold. An electric fan, even running constantly, is more energy efficent than your air conditioner.
10. Replace Your Filters
Replacing our filters is something many of us either forget to do, or don't do often enough. But it should be the golden rule for all air conditioning units and dryers. It improves energy efficiency and saves you money.
The frequency for changing air-conditioning units depends on the filter you buy. Most filters come with recommended change times, so try to adhere to them.
A clogged dryer filter means your unit is working harder than it needs to, which can cause it to use more energy or break down. Try to remember to clean the lint out of your dryer each time you start a new load for better energy efficiency. Dryer filters are small and can easily get clogged and bogged down.
These are just a few of the things you can easily do to start saving money on your utility bill today and improve efficiency around your home. An Energy Smart Home package can also help you improve your home energy efficiency. These tips, along with many of our energy efficient Clayton features, will help you get on the right track to extending the life of your appliances and cutting down on your bills.