The typical U.S. household “loses” up to 30% of its annual heating and cooling bill to energy inefficiencies, according to ENERGY STAR®.
The good news is that there are dozens of ways to help your home perform better.
As the calendar turns to July, and as temperatures warm in Illinois and nationwide, implement even one of the following cost-saving moves and you can expect your home’s energy bill to drop. Implement two or more, and you can expect your bill to drop by a lot.
Keep it simple at the start. When the sun shines through a window on a cloudless day, it can raise a room’s temperature by as much as 20 degrees. Therefore, the first energy-saving move to review is the easiest one — simply close your home’s window blinds and shades to block out the sun.
With the shades drawn and the sun blocked, your rooms will stay cooler, and so will your home. This is especially important during the mid-day hours when the sun is at its strongest so, before you leave for work, make sure you’ve closed your blinds.
The next step is to change your home’s air filter.
Air filters are meant to be changed quarterly, or monthly if your home has shedding pets. When your air filter is clean, the HVAC unit won’t have to work as hard to push air through your home’s air ducts, saving up to another 7% off your annual energy costs.
Next, replace your home’s incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
This step can be costly up-front, but over the long-term, savings are big. Not only do energy-efficient light bulbs such as CFLs and LEDs last for years, but they don’t pump heat back into a room like an incandescent bulb will.
Incandescent bulbs are shown to convert 97.5% of their energy into heat, meaning just 2.5% of their supplied energy is used for light. This 97.5% then warms up your house, which costs money to cool.
And, lastly, if your home has ceiling fans, use them.
When a ceiling fan is running, it can make a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler. Just remember that ceiling fans cool you and not the room. Be sure to turn them off when you leave the room.