Investing in energy efficiency may sound like it requires a lot of effort, time, and money, but it doesn’t have to. While there are certainly high-impact and high-cost measures that can be done, there are also smaller steps you can take to make your home more energy-efficient, help you save energy and money, and live a more comfortable life.
Below is a list of 8 simple measures you can take to conduct your own home energy audit and start saving.
- Unplug or turn off unused appliances and electronics. Appliances and miscellaneous electrical loads are taking up more and more of our monthly electric bills. Rebate alert: Consider using Smart power strips.
- Switch to LED bulbs. These bulbs can last 20-30 times longer than incandescent bulbs while saving more than 75% on energy. Rebate alert: Columbia REA offers a Lighting and Power Strip rebate.
- Replace HVAC air filters. The air filter(s) on your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can help keep the air in your home clean by reducing particles and other pollutants. A clean filter also allows your HVAC system to run more smoothly and efficiently because it does not have to work as hard to move air through.
- Set your thermostat to “Auto” and keep an eye on temperatures. When the fan is set to “on,” it is running constantly and can add up to $50 per month. Also, try to keep your thermostat to the warmest comfortable temperature in the summer (78?) and the coolest comfortable temperature in the winter (68?). Rebate alert $100 rebate on certain Smart thermostats!
- Have your duct work checked for leaks. Leaks at the return, air handler, and supply can be a major source of high bills.
- Wash clothes and dishes when loads are full. Use cold water when possible for general clothes washing. Hot water can be saved for bedding or stained or soiled clothes. When dishwashing, try air drying instead of heat drying.
- Low-flow showerheads and faucets use fewer gallons of water per minute and can save money and energy by reducing demand on your water heater. Look for one with the WaterSense® label.
- When ready to purchase a new appliance or electronics, look for the Energy Star label. Rebate alert for Energy Star clothes washer and dryers!
These simple actions are low-cost ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, increase savings and enhance comfort.