Let’s talk energy savings. Many people get nervous when this subject comes up. Don’t get nervous, once you learn how to find where energy is being wasted then you can make the changes.
Call your local utility company and ask them to do a free energy audit. They can tell you where you are using the most energy and how to fix the problem. If you are on a long waiting list and want to jump-start the process then check use this check list to help you get started.
1. Check all your windows and doors for air leaks. Even the small leaks will add up come heating and cooling time.
2. Use weather stripping in both doors and windows to stop those leaks. Put plastic over your windows if you do not have storm windows.
3. Do you have the proper amount of insulation? Don't worry if you don't know. Most home improvement stores can help you decide how much you need and even tell you how to install it yourself.
4. You could also add tint to your house windows on the south side. Using tint and window blinds can be a big help with controlling how much the sun heats up your home. The sun is great in the winter to help heat your house but in the summer, the extra heat is not good on the utility bills. Putting tint on your windows on the south side of the house will allow you to see outside but cut down on the heat from the sun. You can find this window tint in the auto section of most department stores. Use the kind of window tint that peels off easily so that you can take it off in the winter.
5. If you are not in a room, shut off the lights. This simple idea will save more than you may realize.
6. Many appliances like televisions, microwaves and so on use energy even if they are not running. Unplug your appliance when they are not in use or hook them to a surge protector and turn it off when your appliance is not in use.
7. If possible, when you wash your laundry, wash in cold water. Most laundry doesn't need the hot water anyway. Usually only very dirty items need hot or even warm water. Try to have a full load when you do run the dishwasher or clothes washer.
8. Now let’s talk drying clothes. It is much cheaper to use a clothesline. If you feel that you must use the dryer, then only dry the clothes until they are just a little damp and hang them on a line inside if possible until they finish drying. You could even put a clothesline in your laundry room for things that you don't want to hang outside.
9. Some hot water tanks heat better if you wrap them with tank insulation, others don't need the insulation. This will depend on the age and make of your hot water tank. Read the owner’s manual on your hot water tank before you decide to insulate to see what is needed for your tank.
10. Buy a programmable thermostat. When you are away from the house you don’t need to have the temperature the same as you do when you are at home. You would be surprised how much this will save you.
11. Why keep the complete house extra warm when you can only be in one room at a time? Try setting your thermostat on a lower temperature and use a small quartz heater in the room that you are occupying.This list will get you started saving on your utility bills today. Talk to your local utility office for their helpful hints.