Looking for fast, free ways to save on energy around the home this winter? There are many common-sense things you can do everyday in your home to lower energy bills:
- Tip #1 – Lock your windows. Don’t just close them, but lock them to create an airtight seal that keeps out air leaks and drafts.
- Tip #2 – Plug power-draining computers and electronic equipment into a power strip with a switch, so they can all be easily turned off when not in use.
- Tip #3 – Turn off lights when leaving a room.
- Tip #4 – Get free solar heat by opening the blinds and shades on your windows during the day.
- Tip #5 – Chill out and do your laundry in cold water.
- Tip #6 – Add a sweater and lower the thermostat. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you may be able to save 5 percent on heating costs.
- Tip #7 – Run only full loads in your dishwasher.
- Tip #8 – Remove lint often from your clothes dryer and its outside vent. And, run your dryer in the evening, when the extra heat helps warm your house.
- Tip #9 – Close the doors (and the heating vents) in rooms with minimal use, like walk-in closets, laundry rooms and guest bedrooms, to reduce heat use in those areas.
- Tip #10 – Snuggle up under more blankets at night and turn your heat down lower to reduce energy costs.
Small things like these can add up to big energy savings in the home. You’ll be surprised to find your energy bills dropping by 20, 30 or more dollars each month when you consistently make the effort.
While free common-sense practices can help you save, keep in mind that a home can only be as energy-efficient as the products in it. Older appliances, windows and lack of insulation can suck the energy out of the home every day causing your heating and cooling costs to soar. Whenever possible, it’s important to invest in energy-efficient products that are marked with the ENERGY STAR® label.
One of the areas of the home subject to the most extreme loss of heating and cooling can be older windows. I’ve been in homes where people put heavy drapes and plastic wrap over the windows to stop air drafts. That’s not the solution. Investing in energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified windows makes your home more comfortable and instantly lowers energy bills. To get the best value, look for Energy Tax Credit glass packages like those in Simonton’s vinyl replacement windows.
For more tips on understanding replacement windows, download our free bonus chapter on replacement windows from “My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure.” The free chapter, which was prepared with help from experts at Simonton Windows, is titled “Your Complete Window Replacement Guide.”