Cleveland-area homeowners are getting wise about energy savings, both to save money and protect the environment. There are plenty of small things you can do right now to increase energy savings. Some are absolutely free, and others require small investments that will pay off over time.
Free and easy energy savings:
- Set your thermostat ahead several degrees during the cooling season, especially when no one is home or when everyone is asleep.
- Use ceiling fans to keep air circulating. The resulting wind-chill factor accounts for the temperature change you feel as heat and moisture are wicked from your skin. This may let you set your thermostat another few degrees up while still feeling cool and comfortable.
- Run your washer machine on the "cold water" setting, when possible.
- Run your dryer only when it’s full, or line dry your clothes outside.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater by a few degrees.
Small energy savings projects:
- Seal air leaks in your ductwork, attic and the shell of your building. Energy Star estimates that 20 percent of cooled air leaks out of the average house through ductwork alone. Use duct mastic for the ducts, caulk and spray foam for the building and the attic, and flashing (aluminum sheeting and high-temperature caulk) around chimneys in the attic.
- Add insulation to your attic. Many homes in the Cleveland area lose energy through inadequate insulation. It’s a good idea to have your home evaluated to assess where insulation is needed and how much.
- Upgrade to high-efficiency CFL or LED lights.
- Keep up with preventive HVAC maintenance. Keeping your equipment clean and professionally maintained can keep you more comfortable, increase efficiency and lengthen the system's life.
- Consider upgrading to high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment that uses less energy and works better. Modern design and technology have created highly efficient systems that far surpass products of the past.
If you are confused by the mountain of energy savings claims out there and would like a comprehensive plan for your home, have an energy audit performed for your home. For an energy evaluation that can paint a picture of your home’s performance, suggest a prioritized list of actions for you to take and gauge exactly how you could get the most energy savings, call the experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We’ll be happy to help.
Photo credit: Rubber Paw