Blog: Siding Installation, Metal Roofing, Shingle Roofing in Riverdale, Midland, & Bay City MI
1- Keep the temperature as cool as you can handle during the winter and as warm as you can handle during the summer. Turn the heat down and use blankets more in the winter (or invest in a wood burning stove). Likewise, turn up the air and use fans in the summer (and be sure to drink lots of water).
2- Install a programmable thermostat. There’s no need to run the heat and air all day and night – especially if no one is home most of the day. Set it to turn on a half-hour before anyone comes home. You can also program it to change to different temperatures at different times to adjust for changing temperatures outside.
3- Replace filters for anything that heats or cools around your house once a month. The dirtier your filters become, the more energy efficiency you lose (not to mention the worse your air quality becomes).
4- Eliminate drafts by using inexpensive expanding foam or caulk to fill cracks and small holes around windows, door frames and exterior walls where cold or warm air typically escapes. Look carefully around where pipes and wires enter and exit your home.
5- Add more energy-efficient insulation to your attic. Using insulation with the appropriate R-value (resistance to heat flow) will greatly increase the heating and cooling efficiency in your home.
6- Lower your hot water thermostat by 10ºF, but no lower than 120ºF. You’ll still get all the hot water you need and save energy in the process. You can also install a water heater blanket to improve the efficiency.
7- Use your vacuum to clean the coils in the front grill and backside of your refrigerator, so it works more efficiently. Also clean the lint collector in your dryer as well as the hot air duct leading out of the house with a vacuum for the same reason (…or just skip the dryer in warm weather altogether).
8- Swap your standard incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They’re more energy-efficient, last for years instead of months, consume very little power and generate very little heat. If they’re too expensive to replace all at once, replace them as the old ones burn out.
9- Unplug all unused electrical devices. Most electric devices use a “phantom charge” – a small but constant amount of electricity. To eliminate that usage, unplug the items. This includes things like your microwave, cell phone chargers not in use, and gaming devices.
10- Consider using power strips and timers to turn electrical devices on and off. A power strip with a switch on it, when turned off, blocks the “phantom charge” on those devices; a timer can automatically turn off the charge going to a power strip (or anything plugged into it) at a certain time.
11- Perform a nightly walk-thru of your home. Make sure all lights, lamps, televisions, fans and other electricity-using devices are turned off (or unplugged) before you go to bed. The savings from simply turning everything off can add up quickly.
12- Compare the meter reading on your utility bill to what you actually see on your meter. If the amount on your meter is lower than the one on your bill, you’re being overcharged. But remember – mistakes sometimes happen, so don’t automatically assume the worse if there is a discrepancy.
13- Landscaping your yard with the right mix of trees and shrubs can lower your energy bills by blocking winter wind and summer sun. This might not be an immediate fix, but it will save you money in the future. Plus if you get fruit and nut trees, they’ll pull double-duty by providing your family with food.