3 Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency at Home

Everyone likes to save money, yet many people are still content to pay their energy bill each month and never question whether it could be lower. Lowering your energy bill can be accomplished easily by improving the energy efficiency of your home. We've collected three ways you can improve your energy efficiency to help lower your utility bills.

1. Adjust the Temperature

Even the smallest changes in temperature can greatly impact your home's energy efficiency. Adjusting the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during winter days, and 78 degrees or higher during the summer, can help you use less energy.

Natural sunlight can also have a big effect on your home's energy efficiency. Open blinds and drapes to let the sunlight warm your home during the winter and close curtains to keep it out in the summer. Controlling the amount of sunlight coming in means your air conditioner or furnace won't have to work as hard to make your home comfortable.

Finally, adjust the temperature on your water heater. A temperature of 120 degrees is adequate for most homes. This prevents accidental scalding, and also slows the buildup of minerals in your water heater tank.

2. Unplug Electronics When not in Use

New technologies continue to invade American households, and most of us seldom remember to unplug or power them down. This can have a significant impact on your home's energy efficiency.

Unplug rarely-used appliances to decrease energy usage around the house. Unplugging electronics like charging devices for phones, tablets, and digital cameras can increase your energy efficiency. Using a power strip with an on/off switch makes it easy to decrease electricity use by powering off multiple electronics at once.

3. Apply Energy Efficiency to Your Appliances

Investing in Energy Star appliances your home's energy efficiency, but there are many ways to reduce energy expenses with your current appliances, as well.

The refrigerator is often the leading energy user among a home's appliances, so it's important that it operates efficiently.

  • Keep the door closed as often as possible. The door's seal should be checked to ensure it is secure. Set a dollar bill between the door gaskets and try to remove it. It should be difficult to do so – if it slips out easily, the seal is not as tight as it should be. Consider replacing it.
  • Adjust your refrigerator's temperature. The temperature of the refrigerator itself should be set to 35°-38°F, and the freezer to 0° F.

Simple lifestyle changes can improve energy efficiency with other appliances as well. Avoid opening the oven door when cooking unless necessary, clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer after every load and only use the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load to clean. When followed consistently, these practices will lead to energy savings and lower utility bills.

Employing the strategies outlined above will allow you and your family to live more energy efficiently, and the savings you see on your energy bill will add to your financial security.

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