Saving energy is always a good idea. When you save energy, you become more environmentally-friendly and you save on your utility bills too. There are countless ways to save energy. Just making smarter choices around your home can save a lot. If you need some ideas on how to energy around your Berks County home, B&L Ott has you covered. Check out our list below!
- Choose the Right Light Bulbs – There are countless light bulbs to choose from when it comes to lighting your home. Choose efficient ones such as LEDs.
- Turn Off Lights When Not In Use – When you leave a room, be sure to turn off the lights. Leaving them on may be convenient, but taking the time to turn them off will save energy and help lower your electric bill too.
- Consider Installing Motion Sensor Lights – If you want to make turning off your lights more convenient, consider installing motion sensor lights. They will automatically turn on when they sense someone in the room and automatically turn off shortly after you leave your room.
- Put Lights on a Timer – If you have any lights that you use for ambiance or security purposes, consider putting lights on a timer. You can set them to turn on at night and turn off in the morning.
- Use Natural Light When Possible – During the day, the sun provides plenty of light. Rather than use your electric lights, take advantage of the natural sunlight.
- Use Mirrors to Help Spread Light – If natural sunlight doesn’t spread well throughout your home, consider using mirrors. The light coming in will hit the mirror and reflect in other areas of the room.
- Upgrade Your HVAC System – HVAC efficiency continues to improve as time goes by. If your HVAC system is getting old, consider replacing it soon with a more efficient model. While the initial cost may be high, you will save more in the long run.
- Make Sure Your HVAC System is Properly Sized and Located – If your HVAC system is the wrong size for your Berks County home, it will waste energy. If it’s too small, it will run constantly. If it is too large, it may short cycle. B&L Ott can help you ensure your system is properly sized.
- Make Sure Your HVAC System Receives Maintenance – Your HVAC system will account for a large majority of your utility bills. To ensure it continues to run efficiently, you need to ensure it receives regular maintenance. B&L Ott recommends scheduling maintenance twice per year, once before the cooling season and once before the warming season.
- Replace Filters Regularly – Along with seasonal maintenance, you also need to ensure you clean or replace the filter regularly. Many filters should be changed on a monthly basis, however, some high-efficiency models can last longer.
- Insulate Pipes – As water travels through your pipes, it can lose some of its heat. To help prevent this, insulate your pipes. Doing so will help retain the heat and help you save energy.
- Insulate and Seal the Cracks – Sealing any cracks and installing insulation helps your home retain its temperature. Don’t forget about your air ducts as well.
- Ensure Attic is Ventilated – Your attic can get very hot in the summer. This can affect the temperature in the rest of your home and cause your air conditioner to run longer. Save some energy by installing ventilation in your attic.
- Repair Any Air Duct Leaks – If any of your air ducts are damaged, air can leak out or get trapped. This wastes energy. Prevent this issue by having any damaged air ducts repaired or replaced by B&L Ott.
- Get Air Ducts Cleaned – Over time, dust and other debris will accumulate in your air ducts. Like damaged air ducts, dust can block the airflow and waste energy. Contact B&L Ott near Reading, PA to ensure your air ducts are thoroughly cleaned.
- Close Chimney Damper to Keep Cool Air In – The chimney is yet another place you can lose conditioned air. You should never light a fire with the damper closed, but when the fireplace is not in use, be sure to close the damper.
- Choose the Right Thermostat Settings – Changing your thermostat a single degree can significantly impact how much energy your HVAC uses. According to the Department of Energy, the recommended settings are 68°F in the winter and 78°F in the summer.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat – Yet another way to save money with your thermostat is to install a programmable or smart thermostat. This will allow you to schedule automatic temperature changes and allow you to change the temperature of your home remotely.
- Install a Home Zoning System – A home zoning system can also help you save. A home zoning system uses dampers in the air ducts to direct the air where you want it to go. This helps you get conditioned air to certain parts of your home without having to turn your thermostat up extra.
- Keep Hot Appliances Away from the Thermostat – If you place appliances that give off heat near your thermostat, it can cause your thermostat to take an inaccurate reading. This can cause issues with the temperature in the rest of your home and affect how much energy your HVAC uses. Keep heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat.
- Invest In Energy-Efficient Windows – Your windows and doors are one of the main places your home will lose heat or air conditioning. However, energy-efficient windows can help you retain more of the hot or cool air your HVAC system produces. While they may be more expensive initially, they will save you more in the long run.
- Open and Close Blinds or Curtains When Appropriate – Curtains also help insulate your home. Keeping the curtains open while the sun is up will help naturally heat your home in the winter. Closing them will help keep your house warmer on winter nights and block the sun from adding extra heat to your home in summer.
- Open Windows – When the weather is nice, give your HVAC system a break. Open your windows instead. This will save energy, add fresh air to your home, and promote airflow.
- Use Fans – Along with opening the windows, fans can help you feel cooler with less energy. While they won’t actually make the room cooler, they can promote airflow.
- Invest In Door Sweeps – Door sweeps are a sort of cushion that goes under your door to help block the air from passing under the door. They are useful for helping prevent air from being lost to unconditioned areas of your home such as the attic and basement.
- Use Less Hot Water – Your water heater also uses a significant amount of energy. Therefore, if you make a conscious effort to use less hot water, you can help save energy. Take short showers, do only full loads of laundry and dishes, and don’t let hot water run in your sink for too long.
- Add Aerators to Faucets – An aerator shapes the stream of the water coming out of your faucet. This helps prevent splashing and conserve water as well as energy.
- Install Low-Flow Shower Heads – Along with aerators on the faucets, a low-flow showerhead can help you conserve water while you take a shower.
- Minimize Use of Bathroom and Kitchen Ventilator – Bathroom ventilators help keep moisture out of your bathroom so you don’t get mold or mildew. Kitchen ventilators help keep your home safe and smoke-free. However, if you leave them running it can waste energy. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and then turn it off again.
- Repair Leaks – If any of the faucets or showers in your home spring a leak, get them fixed as soon as possible so they don’t waste water.
- Dress For the Weather – Instead of changing the temperature on your thermostat, try to prioritize dressing for the weather. Putting on a sweater is much more energy-efficient, than raising the thermostat a few degrees.
- Choose Alternative Ways to Warm Up or Cool Off – You can also make conscious choices about the way you warm yourself or cool off. If you’re hot in the summer, go for a swim. If you’re cold in the winter cuddle up with your pet or loved one. You can also go on an outing with your family.
- Use Outdoor Awnings – In the summer, using an awning for shade can also help keep you cool on your porch. Similar to curtains, it can also help block the sun from adding extra heat to your Berks County home.
Electronics and Appliances
- Buy Energy Efficient Appliances – Whenever you buy a new appliance such as a refrigerator, washer, etc., opt for the energy-efficient options. Every little bit of energy you save with these appliances will add up over time.
- Don’t Keep Electronics Plugged In – Many electronics and appliances will continue to draw energy, even when they are not plugged in. With this in mind, unplugging your devices when not in use can help prevent energy drain.
- Use Smart Plugs and Assistants – Smart plugs and assistants can also help you conserve energy when used properly. Smart plugs and assistants help you control your appliances and devices no matter where you are via your smart devices. If you leave and forget to turn something off, you can just log into an app and turn it off. This also helps keep your family safer.
- Make Sure Appliances Are Clean – Some appliances such as your HVAC system need to be able to ventilate properly to run efficiently. If any of these types of appliances are gathering dust in your home, be sure to clean them.
- Wash Clothing and Dishes When the Sun is Low – Appliances like your washer and dishwasher give off heat. In the summer, this can cause your HVAC to run longer to remove this heat. Therefore, it is a good idea to wash dishes and laundry in the evening and morning while the sun isn’t high.
- Air Dry Laundry – The wind and sun can dry your clothing for free. Your dryer used energy. Dry your clothes outside when possible.
- Cook Outside – Like the dishwasher and dryer, cooking also adds heat to your home. If it is nice out and you don’t want to add extra heat to your home, cook outside on the grill.
- Use Microwave or Toaster Oven Instead of Stove – If you do cook inside, try to use the appliances that use less energy. The microwave and toaster oven are more efficient than a stove.
- Turn Off Oven Before Time Runs Out – Your oven will still stay hot for a bit even after it is turned off. If you want to save a bit of extra energy, turn the oven off a few minutes before your food is done cooking or baking.
- Minimize Time Oven and Refrigerator Doors are Open – Sometimes we get hungry and end up standing with the refrigerator door open until we decide what we want. However, this wastes energy. Instead, try to minimize how long your refrigerator door is open. This goes for your oven as well.
- Set Refrigerator to Manufacturer Settings – Refrigerators typically run most efficiently when they are at their manufacturer settings. If you have changed these settings, change them back to save energy.
- Defrost Freezer Regularly – Built-up ice can affect the efficiency of your freezer. Be sure to defrost it regularly to keep it running on as little energy as possible.
- Enable Power Management Features on Your Computer – Most computers come with a power saver mode. Be sure to use it when possible.
- Give Your Car a Break – Not only does your home use a lot of power, but your car does too. If you live near where you have to go, give your car a break and walk or ride a bike to your destination. You can also use public transportation.
- Choose Plants That Require Less Water – Lots of flowers and plants can make your home or garden more beautiful and provide many benefits. If you want to save even more energy, choose plants that require less water.
- Get a Home Energy Audit – Not sure how you are stacking up? Get an energy audit to find out where you and your family can save more energy.
- Teach the Rest of Your Family These Tips – Finally, get the rest of your family involved. While you can make a significant impact on your own, the more people who commit to saving energy, the greater the difference you will see.
You might be surprised at how much you can save, just by using some of these tips. Once you do, you will begin to reap the benefits of having an energy-efficient home. Be sure to call B&L Ott near Reading, PA to help you keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible. Together we can keep your family comfortable while helping you save.