Sure, you’ll get bigger energy savings from actions like upgrading your air conditioner, but don’t discount the little things you can do to advance savings. Together, tiny energy-saving steps add up, and you may be surprised at the effect they have on your energy bills. Further, these kinds of changes often require no investment on your part, except for a change in habits.
Here’s what you can do:
- Use the sun’s heat to your advantage. In the summer, close drapes to block sunlight, but during cooler temperatures, keep them open to warm the home with the sun’s heat.
- Get more comfortable in the home. Exterior walls are generally always hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter than interior walls. If you like to sit in a particular chair or couch, locate it along an interior wall, and you’ll likely be more comfortable there.
- Use the fireplace correctly. If you have one, you may already know that keeping the damper open when a fire’s going is crucial for adequate ventilation. However, when dormant, close the damper to prevent conditioned indoor air from escaping up the chimney.
- Use water efficiently. Heating water unnecessarily can increase energy costs, so take steps around the home to reduce the amount of hot water you use. Take shorter showers, and wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider washing clothes in cold water cycles when possible.
- Stop standby energy losses. Electronics and appliances around your home are likely drawing energy when they’re in standby mode. You can take two actions to stop these types of losses: Unplug devices when they’re not in use, or where possible, use power-management tools to employ energy-saving settings.
- Make caulk your new best friend. Using caulk to seal leaks around your home reduces energy losses and makes your home more comfortable.