Enter Bob Vila’s Kitchen Appliance Sweeps! Wouldn’t you how often do energy bills come to get in on the game too?
Well, the good news is, all this is easier than you think. The best way to get a handle on your home energy usage is to schedule a home energy audit. An audit can help you determine how much energy you use, identify problem areas where you might be losing energy, and plan necessary energy-saving improvements. Enlist your smartphone in the quest to become more energy efficient.
There are many apps out there that track your energy usage and make recommendations to improve your efficiency. If you’re not leveraging your windows to boost household energy efficiency, you’re missing a big opportunity. During the winter months, keep shades, blinds, and curtains open during the day to let in sunshine and provide natural warmth and light. Come sunset, close window coverings tightly to minimize heat loss.
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If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, it may be time to make the investment. These clever devices allow you to set the temperature to rise or lower automatically according to your work and sleep schedule. Find and seal any air leaks around windows and doors with inexpensive caulking, spray foam, and weatherstripping. Closing up cracks and gaps can cut down on heating and cooling costs, and will make your home a more comfortable, draft-free environment.
Seriously, there are many reasons why winter fashion magazines are filled with models wearing sweaters. Not only do they look great and camouflage any winter weight gain, sweaters keep you warm. Don’t overlook the obvious: Your dryer is a huge source of heat. Not only does a dryer dry your clothes, but it also puts out a large amount of heat into the room.
Heat rises, and when it does you better hope your attic is properly insulated to keep all that warmth from escaping your home. The Department of Energy advises that a properly insulated attic can reduce your energy bills by 10 to 50 percent. Most people think of ceiling fans solely as warm-weather essentials for cooling down hot rooms and improving air circulation. Most ceiling fans, however, feature reversible motors that can be set to push warm air down in the winter, improving the overall comfort in the room.
It might seem counterintuitive, but because your fireplace flue sucks heated air out of a room and up the chimney, using your fireplace will actually cost you money on your heating bills. Replace your manual light switches with motion-sensor versions so lights will automatically turn off when no one is in a room. Sensors are especially effective in bathrooms and children’s rooms, where lights are often left on by accident, resulting in wasted electricity. You may not believe in vampires, but you probably have a few lurking in your house. A “vampire” is any electronic device that draws power from electrical outlets even when it’s switched to the “off” position. Make sure that your heating and cooling systems keep operating at peak efficiency by scheduling regular routine maintenance.