We’re all looking for ways to save money, aren’t we? If you’re into saving the planet too, then we’ve got a double win for you. Here are 11 MORE ways to save money on your energy bills, support the earth, and reduce the wear & tear on your home.
Best Ways to Save Energy in Riverside, CA
You’ve already got the basics down – you turn off things you don’t use, and you think about waste – but can you level up this fall? Look through our list and see which tips you can employ this month:
- Buy blackout curtains
One of the more affordable, one-step actions you can take to increase your energy conservation is to hang blackout curtains for the summer. When everyone is out of the house enjoying the summer sun, that same heat and energy are making its way into your home through your lightly covered windows and heating your home space. Your air conditioner has to labor to combat that heat infiltration which results in a major overuse of energy. With blackout curtains or darker window treatments drawn during the air, your AC can chill out.
- Improve your fireplace efficiency
Did you know your fireplace and chimney could be your energy bill’s arch nemesis? Between circulating dust and allergens that bog down your filter long before it’s time to switch to letting in the wrong temperature of air, your air conditioner and/or heater could be making up the difference by working full-time and invoicing you for the time every month. A well-maintained and efficient fireplace and chimney – cleaned and sealed – could make a major difference in bills. If you get your fireplace in working order, you could also help heat your home this winter by lighting a fire and cutting back on furnace usage.
- Move furniture away from vents
Let’s go on a scavenger hunt together. If you have baseboard or wall vents, let’s go around your home together and find them all. Which ones are behind the couch, under the recliner, or blocked by a pile of dirty laundry right now? Blocked vents are problematic in two ways: One, you’re wasting the energy you’re already paying for to run cool or warm air into a dead end. Two, your AC or heater has to work harder to heat or cool the space because the right amount of work isn’t doing the right amount of heating or cooling, due to the block. To make up the difference and keep your room at the temperature you designate, your system has to level up needlessly. Clear the path.
- Vacuum your refrigerator
Vacuum my WHAT?! You read that right – the coils on your refrigerator get dusty and should be vacuumed 1-2 times annually. If you do this diligently, your fridge will have the chance to perform better. All that energy your refrigerator was using to power itself and keep cool to the designated temperature can be greatly reduced if it’s performing optimally. This will also make your refrigerator less likely to die on you prematurely. Win-win.
- Close some doors
This one seems simple but it’s one of those tips we don’t see homeowners use enough! If you have rooms in your house that you use less regularly – powder rooms, extra bedrooms, big closets – close those doors! If your AC & heat can condition the air in a smaller space, they will have to run for less time, and with less labor, to keep you comfortable.
- Hit the thermostat on meal prep day
If you plan to be running your oven and stove for an extended period – to cook a ton of food for a party, to entertain for the holidays, or on meal prep Sunday – turn the heat down a couple of notches and enjoy the heat you’re already generating. If it’s summer, try to use the grill or crockpot as much as possible to avoid heating the whole house OR cook early in the morning, when you might be able to turn off the AC and crack a few windows to regulate the temperature before the day heats up.
- Let your hair air-dry
If you’re someone who usually operates a straightening iron, curling iron, hair dryer, or a variety of other bathroom gadgets every single morning, cut back. Maybe twice a week, let your hair air dry. Employ similar habit changes with other gadgets you use frequently like your coffee pot, electric shaver, or blender. If you can use something less, do it!
- Line dries those clothes
Similarly, if you can avoid using your tumble dryer for SOME clothes SOME of the time, do it. Your appliances sap up a ton of energy and that dryer is also going to heat the house just like the stove would. This might take some getting used to, but if you have the capability of line-drying your clothes, it could save you over $100 over the year.
- Use night-lights and candles
Once the sun goes down, we sometimes tend to turn on every light in the house. If you can use nightlights or lamps instead of overhead lights, make that choice. Even better, light candles or use battery-powered sources of light. If you’re just watching TV, running to the kitchen for a glass of water, and returning to the couch, the living room AND kitchen lights can remain off with a few strategic light sources.
- Dishwasher Tetris
If you’re someone who runs the dishwasher every time you have four bowls to wash, stop! If you have the extra dishes to keep using while you fill your dishwasher over a couple of days, wait to run it until it’s strategically full. If you don’t have the extra dishes to spare, consider sink washing your smaller items or buying another set or two – it will save you in the long run.
- Care about your HVAC filters.
You would be surprised how many customers we visit whose responses are “what filter? Where?” when we ask them when it was last changed. Your HVAC system very likely has a filter that needs replaced monthly – sometimes less depending on the filter, you’re using. If you don’t replace your HVAC filter, you will be breathing unclean air and putting extra strain on your system to operate, which can harm the system and make your energy bills skyrocket. Replace your HVAC filters as directed to avoid a whole host of issues.
What do you think? Were any of these tips new or helpful to you? How can you pledge to make better choices for your wallet and the environment this month? If you would like to discuss the energy efficiency of your HVAC system with a professional, there may be suggestions we can make to help you save money. Call Sheldon's Heating & Air Conditioning’s Service today! 877-274-1882