Now that the kids are back to school, we are seeing signs of autumn leaves, pumpkins, and Jack-O-Lanterns. But as the weather gets colder, we aren’t the only ones preparing to conserve energy use wherever possible. Many government and private agencies are committed to setting and reaching goals that will cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce taxpayer’s energy costs.
What Can we as Homeowners Do?
Home Energy Checklist
This is one of the most useful lists we’ve seen. Some of the points include:
- Keep your hot water heater turned to a lower setting.
- Be sure it has a good insulating blanket.
- Heating can account for almost half of the average household energy bill, so make sure your furnace or heat pump receives professional maintenance each year.
- Replace old light bulbs with incandescent lights or LEDs.
- Turn out lights when not needed or consider installing timers or sensors.
- Turn off computer monitor and CPU when not in use.
- Unplug equipment that drain energy when not in use, like coffeemakers, fans, radios, etc.
- In winter, open blinds or curtains on your south-facing side to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and then close them at night.
- Keep furnace filters clean or replaced.
- Buy or replace new equipment and appliances with Energy Star labeled products.
- Install a Smart, or programmable thermostat.
- Schedule an energy audit.
100 Ways to Save Energy at Home
Here is another good source. Duke Energy offers the Granddaddy of energy savings lists and tips. “100 Ways to Save Energy at Home”
Here are a few not mentioned above:
- Cover bare floors in winter. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
- Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump’s temperature activates the heat strip, which uses tons of energy.
- Lower your thermostat temperature …You may save as much as 3 percent on your energy bill for each degree you lower your thermostat. Reduce your thermostat setting at night and/or when you are away.
- Close the flue in your fireplace to keep out cold air, and install glass doors to keep in the warm air.
- Limit your use of portable heaters. They’re great for “spot” heating, but running a 1,500-watt heater 24/7 can be expensive.
- Don’t block air vents with drapes and furniture.
- Get an energy-efficient heat pump and you could cut your heating costs in half.
- Give your air compressor space to work efficiently. Never stack anything against your HVAC or drape anything over it.
- Set your thermostat to 60 degrees if going on vacation during the winter months, but don’t turn it off.
Other related subject lists at this site include: Cooling, Lighting, Appliances, Water Heaters, Electronics, Windows and Roofing.
Saving Energy in the Workplace
If you are the HVAC person responsible at your place or business, or a building owner, see the checklists in the following links.
A few of these includes:
- Match HVAC schedules to occupancy schedules.
- Lower setback temperatures.
- Install a desiccant dehumidification system.
- Educate employees about building systems and energy efficiency measures.
- Have gas-fired equipment combustion checked.
- If possible install revolving doors.
- Perform boiler maintenance and set up a maintenance schedule.
This list includes much of the above two with a few more additions.
Keep in mind, for both homes and businesses, the excellent Abel Performance Program provides benefits such as 24 hour priority service, seasonal inspections annually, discounts on parts, labor and some replacement equipment.
What’s Taking Place within our Government Regarding Energy?
More from another of our favorite reference sites is The Department of Energy where we are offered opportunities to learn about, or join, the national effort.
For example, the Recovery Act has made a $90 billion investment in clean energy technologies from batteries and biofuels, to carbon capture and sequestration technologies along with a smarter electrical grid. The Department of Energy alone has committed $32.7 billion in grants and contracts to more than 5,000 recipients. They are taking the climate changes seriously, and so should we. And in doing so, we will find our energy costs lowering each year.
President Obama said recently regarding energy:
As a Nation of scientists and engineers, farmers and entrepreneurs, we must continue to invest in clean, domestic sources of energy, harness the innovation of our brightest minds, promote our world leading industries, and find lasting solutions to our energy challenges.”
Questions? Are you interested in having any of the above listed items checked at your home or place of business? Give us a call and we’ll send a technician. 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us
It Pays to be Aware of Energy Usage and Savings!