Tips You Can Use
FEM Electric has compiled a list of common energy efficiency tips for any season of the year. These tips will not only help you save energy and make your home more efficient, but will also help you save on your monthly energy bill!
Summer Efficiency Tips
Thermostat Efficiency Tip
Avoid placing items that create heat (like lamps and televisions) near your thermostat. Thermostats sense heat from items like these, causing your air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
One of the easiest ways to save energy during summer is setting your thermostat to 78 degrees.
Ventilate the attic. When the outside temperature is in the 90s, your attic can easily reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Adequately sized vents or an attic fan can help keep hot air from building up.
Update your insulation. This helps keep cool air in your home during summer months and warm air in during the winter.
Save Energy Outdooors
Save energy by grilling outdoors (and eliminating additional heat in your kitchen).
Use LED solar lighting to light your walkways outdoors.
Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight.
Avoid unnecessary trips in and out of the house. Heat and humidity come in each time you open the door.
Overall Home Efficiency
Looking for an easy way to conserve energy this summer? Consider using a barrel to collect rain water for your ornamental garden.
If you’re planting trees this spring, consider an energy efficient landscaping plan.
Use caulk to seal gaps in the walls of your home or apartment. Wherever different building materials meet, or wiring comes out of a wall, there are gaps that may contribute to the loss of heat or air conditioning in your home.
Invest in a water heater insulation blanket. If the top of the electric water heater is warm to the touch, you are wasting energy. This means that the heater has to work even harder to heat the water in your home; and, therefore, it uses more energy.
Winter Efficiency Tips
Furnace Efficiency Tips
Replace your furnace filter every month to save energy and improve heat circulation. Consider having a professional check and service your furnace system to ensure peak efficiency and safety.
As long as there is a cold air return, you can close the vent and door for rooms you do not use. Experts say without a cold air return, closing off a room can build up pressures that cause the furnace to work harder.
Windows Can be a Source of Efficiency, too!
Use sunlight’s natural heat to your best advantage. Open curtains and blinds on sunny days to let the sunlight warm your home and close them on gloomy days and at night to keep the heat inside.
If you have older or leaky windows, consider temporary fixes, such as plastic film kits that create the effect of an interior storm window.
Holiday Efficiency Tips
Close your fireplace damper when you are not using the fireplace to prevent heat from escaping and cold from entering through your chimney.
Use electronic timers for lamps and appliances. Timers can be used to automatically turn appliances on and off. This is especially useful for those times of the day that you are out of the home. They're also useful during the holidays!
Replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient, compact, LED ones that use 80% less energy. LED bulbs are great for more than just the holidays!
General Efficiency Tips
When you cover pots and pans while cooking, the heat stays inside the pot and cooks your food faster. The faster your food cooks, the more energy saved.
Also, when pots and pans match the size of your stovetop burner, food cooks more efficiently and less heat is wasted from the burner. Your stovetop functions most effectively when burners and reflectors are kept clean.
Counter top appliances use less energy than larger appliances, so use them when you're preparing a smaller feast.
Placing hot food in the fridge makes the appliance work harder to keep things cool. Let food cool down before you place it in the fridge.
Did you know 90% of the energy used by your washing machine goes toward heating the water? Maximize energy savings in the laundry room by switching to cold water. Try a cold-water detergent for a brilliant clean!
Wash full loads of laundry when possible.
Dry heavier cottons separately, and remember to clean the lint filter after each drying cycle. Use wool or rubber dryer balls to keep clothes separated for faster drying.
Adjust Your Habits
Adjust your own habits to increase efficiency. Turn off lights when leaving a room, set computers to go into sleep mode when not in use, and make sure nothing in your home is covering vents. This allows for continued air flow and reduces the work for the furnace or air conditioning unit.
Invest in a smart or programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperatures to automatically adjust for when you are home and when you are away. A smart version learns your habits and implements them. Many models know when you aren’t home and heats or cools accordingly.
Ceiling fans cool people, not spaces. Be sure to flip that switch when you leave the room.