Most people would be surprised at how many common items are causing increased monthly energy expense AND how easy it is to adjust, repair or replace underperforming every-day items and how much that can impact your monthly savings. Many online guides provide “How-To” lists including step-by-step videos, online articles and more. We thought we would provide a few simple items to get you started on saving quickly and easily.
Electronic Devices and Small Appliances:
- Check for electronic devices or small appliances that are not in use, but plugged in and using small amounts of power and electricity continuously, even in a standby or “powered-off” state. Consider plugging them into a power strip that yo u can turn off, which will prevent a drain on electricity. Or simply unplug any device that is not in use. Devices like TVs, computer monitors, motion sensors, phone chargers, DVRs and more. Think about all the things you have plugged in but not using, as these things add up to some real energy costs.
How About Those Lights?:
- Today, the use of LED light bulbs that can simply plug into your current electrical sockets can save you quite a bit on your energy usage. Consider a single 60 watt incandescent bulb compared to a 9 watt usage on a new LED bulb giving off the same or more light. It’s even more drastic when compared to interior or exterior halogen light bulbs. When possible, consider using fluorescent bulbs or LED light bulbs as you upgrade or replace burned out bulbs in your home. It’s true, LED bulbs can cost a bit more when purchased, but they are long-lasting and pay for themselves easily in energy cost savings over time.
- Remember to turn off lights in rooms that are not being used. Many of us simply walk in and out of a room without thinking of turning the light off and before you know it, all the rooms in the house have a light on. Additionally, there are smart technology features that can be placed in high-traffic rooms of your home that automatically turn off after a certain amount of time if no motion is detected. These two things can most certainly put dollars back in your pocket each month.
Heating System And Air Conditioning System Equipment:
- If your heating system or air conditioning system is over 10-12 years old, and has not been serviced, there are most certainly underperforming parts and components that are causing a drain to your system in terms of energy efficiency. Worst of all, parts that have not been serviced, repaired or replaced will fail and can cause further damage to the whole system. Consider replacing older units with higher efficiency parts and systems. There are savings for doing a full system replacement, but savings are available if you prefer to do it in stages such as replacing your heating system or furnace now during the fall months to be better prepared for winter. Then you can plan on replacing the air conditioning system prior to the busy hot months of summer.
- Remember to get regular system check ups on your heating and air conditioning equipment, and we recommend regular system tune-ups twice a year to ensure that your system is operating at peak performance, giving you energy savings all year long. Simple check ups will catch things like refrigerant leaks or a clogged intake filter that can cause your system to work harder in order to keep your warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. Replacing your intake filters stoping refrigerant leaks will keep your system running smoothly and more efficiently.
Check Your Home’s Exterior for Wasted Energy Areas:
- Our homes often have cracks, crevices and small openings that leak out the comfort of our home. Over time, these leaks build up and add up to real dollars in energy cost loss. Consider caulking holes or applying weatherstripping in and around window areas and doors. Most home improvement stores within Dallas and Fort Worth have a ready supply. Also, remember to check cracks in mortar, siding and your home’s foundation and seal with mortar replacement or self-sealing foam for an air-tight fit.
- Lastly, check your attic, as many of our homes do not have sufficient insulation, leave gaps between floor and ceiling where air leaks out into the attic. In addition, insulation “thins” over time and doesn’t provide the weather barrier needed to keep your home warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Consider adding another layer of insulation to your home either with “blown-in” insulation or adding several inches to your existing insulation.