What Are Ways I Can Conserve Energy?
For many people, their gas and electric bills are some of the highest bills they pay. This can leave less money for other more enjoyable pursuits. Plus, excess energy use leads to excess carbon emissions, which can reduce the quality of the air in O’Fallon. If you want to take control of your energy usage, the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to lower your energy usage and your utility bills. Here are a few tips from Hoff Heating & AC to help provide some inspiration.
Turn Lights Off When You Can
Turning unused lights off is one of the simplest ways to save energy in your home. Some people worry that the initial start-up energy required to illuminate a light will undo any benefits of turning lights off when you leave a room. However, this theory has been proven to be false. Therefore, get in the habit of flipping the switch when you leave the room. For exterior lights, make sure they are on timers or utilize light sensors so that the lights aren’t on when they aren’t needed.
Switch to LED Bulbs
If you haven’t already, Hoff Heating & AC recommends switching to LED bulbs. Compared to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs use far less energy. Plus, LED bulbs produce much less heat. This means that the bulbs don’t add extra heat to your home in the summer and force your air conditioner to work harder. Another great feature of LED bulbs is that they last a lot longer than other types of bulbs so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money constantly replacing bulbs. Thanks to the popularity of LED bulbs, their prices continue to drop, making them an affordable energy-efficient upgrade.
Maintain Your Appliances
Proper maintenance of your home’s appliances is a key way to conserve energy. To be sure, it’s important to have Hoff Heating & AC maintain your HVAC equipment and water heater. Even your smaller appliances, though, such as your refrigerator, washer, and dryer, can benefit greatly from regular maintenance. On your dryer, for example, you need to make sure to clean out the exhaust vent at least once a year. This allows your dryer to expel hot air more efficiently and helps reduce the risk of a fire starting in the accumulated lint.
Upgrade Your Home’s Insulation
If you notice that your home quickly loses conditioned air, then an insulation upgrade can help you save a significant amount of energy. Adding insulation to your attic is the best place to start to prevent heat from escaping through the roof. You can also add insulation to exterior walls to reduce the amount of energy that’s transferred from the outside to the inside. Although this is technically a project that you can do yourself, it’s typically best to have a professional take on the job to ensure you don’t fall through your ceiling.
Control Passive Energy Use
Even if you master good energy use in most areas of your home, there could still be some devices that are using energy even when they’re not in use. This passive energy use is called “vampire draw” because the devices responsible for the draw discretely suck energy. Devices such as phone chargers, televisions, DVRs, and other electronics can all be guilty of vampire draw. The best way to overcome this problem is to run all of these devices through a power strip. When the devices aren’t in use, simply turn off the power strip to eliminate the vampire draw.
Select Energy Star Appliances When It’s Time to Upgrade
Although you shouldn’t upgrade your appliances prematurely, when it is time to upgrade, you want to make sure that you select the most energy-efficient appliances possible. Fortunately, the Federal government makes it easy to select efficient appliances by awarding the best appliances with an Energy Star rating. If an appliance has an Energy Star rating, it means that the appliance makes efficient use of energy during the course of normal operation. Hoff Heating & AC recommends that you check with your local government to see if you can get any rebates for purchasing Energy Star appliances for your home.
Adjust Your Water Heater’s Temperature
While there’s nothing like a hot shower in the morning, that hot shower can come at a significant cost on your utility bill. That’s because most water heaters have to keep water hot in the tank even when you’re not actively using hot water. To help reduce the impact of your water heater on your utility bill, you can adjust your water heater’s temperature to a lower setting. The best way to do this is to slowly back it down a single notch to see if you notice a difference. If you don’t, then continue your adjustments one notch at a time until you do notice a difference in comfort. This will ensure you achieve the lowest possible setting without changing your daily routine.
Think About Hot Water Use
While hot water is certainly a luxury to be enjoyed, it’s important to think carefully about its use. Anytime that you use hot water, you’re using energy to heat new water that comes in through the main supply line. Therefore, if you can reduce or eliminate hot water usage in washing laundry, dishes, or yourself, you’ll find that you’re able to significantly reduce your energy usage.
Open Your Windows
When the temperature is comfortable outside, one of the best ways to save energy is to open your windows and let the fresh air in. By turning off your HVAC system, you can save a significant amount of energy in a short amount of time. Hoff Heating & AC recommends, though, that you check the local air quality report before opening your windows. After all, if there are high levels of a certain allergen in the air, you don’t want to be filling your home with those allergens throughout the day.
Dry Clothes on a Clothesline
While it’s a little old-fashioned, drying your clothes on a clothesline offers a great way to save energy and enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures: line-dried clothes. In addition to the significant amount of energy that your dryer uses, it also releases a significant amount of heat into your home. While this is a welcome addition in the winter, it can cause your air conditioner to work overtime in the summer. If there’s no rain in the forecast, you can string-up a line outside and hang your clothes to dry. The best part is that natural sunlight serves as a great way to fight stains, meaning your laundry routine could become quite a bit easier.
Get Help From the Experts
At Hoff Heating & AC, we believe in providing unique solutions to our customers’ needs. Whether you need repair, installation, or maintenance for your furnace or air conditioner, we can take care of you in a way that helps to ensure that your HVAC system operates efficiently. We can also install a geothermal heating and cooling system to provide the ultimate home efficiency. As a winner of the Angie’s List Super Service Award, you can count on Hoff Heating & AC to provide unparalleled service every time that you call us. To learn more about saving energy in your home, contact us at Hoff Heating & AC today. We service O’Fallon, MO, along with St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren, and St. Louis counties.