With each new season, comes new ways to save energy! Use the tips below to keep an energy efficient home year-round.
With cooler weather comes more time indoors. Taking a few easy steps at home will help you save money and energy while staying comfortable and warm.
Get the most out of the heating season with these energy-saving tips:
- Replace or clean your furnace filter to improve efficiency and help your system last long.
- Turn down your thermostat at night or when the house is empty. If you have a heat pump, do not turn the thermostat down more than 2 to 3 degrees. A one-degree change in your thermostat setting can save up to 6% on heating costs.
- Heat the smallest area possible. If your heating system allows you to control individual rooms, focus on heating occupied rooms where people congregate. At night, an electric blanket can keep you cozy in bed without heating the entire house.
- Open your curtains and blinds during the day to let the sun heat your home.
- Set the temperature on your water heater so the water at the tap is 120° F.
- Vacuum furnace air returns, registers and baseboard heaters. Dust can block airflow and reduce the effectiveness of your system.
Planning your spring cleaning? Here are a few things that will help get your home in tip-top shape for an energy-efficient season.
Inside Your Home:
- Clean or replace air filters. Dirty filters block necessary airflow and significantly reduce an HVAC system’s efficiency and life.
- Check your thermostat settings and adjust for a spring/summer schedule. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to allow automatic adjustments.
- Ask a contractor to check your home’s insulation levels. Evaluations are usually free.
- Switch the direction of ceiling fans. Turning your fan counterclockwise in the warmer months will blow air down, creating a draft to keep you cool.
- Fix leaky faucets and toilets. A hot water drip can keep your water heater cycling and if you’re on a well, a leak can keep your pump running.
- Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils. Dust, dirt and pet hair can prevent the coils rom releasing heat and cause the compressor to work harder and run longer. This uses more energy and shortens the refrigerator’s life.
Outside Your Home:
- Brush or hose leaves and debris off the outside A/C or heat pump unit. This allows proper air flow for your unit to work more effectively.
- Install times on outdoor lights and water features. This will help reduce hours of operation.
- Seal air leaks around windows and doors by using caulk, weatherstripping or adjusting hardware for a better fit. Fixing air leaks is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve comfort and reduce energy use.
- Haul out the grill and get it ready for outdoor cooking. Using a grill or a Dutch oven keeps heat out of the kitchen.
- Plant shade trees to shield west-facing windows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, well-placed shade trees can block the sun’s rays and reduce energy used for summer cooling by 15% or more.
- Make sure your dryer exhaust vent outside louver moves properly and is clean. These can become jammed when dirty. Keeping hot air outside where it belongs saves on cooling costs.
Here are a few tips for staying cool and managing your summer energy use when it’s hot outside.
- Check your thermostat setting to align it with your comfort and budget. In the warmer months, each degree you raise your thermostat reduces cooling costs by 2-3%.
- Use ceiling fans, floor fans and box fans instead of reducing A/C temperature. Fans can make you feel up to four degrees cooler and help maintain comfort in occupied rooms.
- Close windows and blinds during the day or when you’re out of the house, especially on the east and west-facing sides. If safe to do so, open windows at night or in the morning to let in cooler air.
- Keep doors closed as the outdoor temperatures rise. Seal air leaks with spray foam, caulk or weatherstripping to prevent losing cool air to the outside.
- Do laundry and run the dishwasher in the early morning or late evening hours. This will avoid adding heat to your home during the warmest part of the day.
As we say goodbye to summer and hello to crisp fall weather, now is the perfect time to prepare your home for cooler weather. Here are a few energy efficiency tips to ensure your home is ready for the heating season.
- Replace or clean your air filters before the heating season begins. Clean filters improve efficiency and help your system last long.
- Check for air leaks around outside doors and windows. If you can feel a draft, caulk, add weatherstripping or adjust hardware for better fit. This also helps keep insects and spiders from coming inside as the weather cools.
- Reverse the direction of the ceiling fans so they run clockwise. When set on low, they gently push warm air near the ceiling down the walls and into the room.
- Set the temperature of our water heater so the water at the tap is 120° F.
- Install LEDs in the most-used areas of your home to save energy and money as the days get shorter.
- Ensure you have adequate attic insulation. We recommend a minimum of insulation of R-38. Colder climates and Oregon need R-49.