Bundle up! It’s getting cold out there, which reminds us of all that fall fun that comes with the changing weather. Colorful scarf’s, your favorite pea coat, brisk walks, hot coco and higher energy bills! Ok, so maybe your not really looking forward to that last one, but unfortunately it’s a bitter cold reality.
In the US, residential homes account for 21% of total energy use. Turning off your lights and electronics are excellent energy saving habits to maintain, but often times you don’t think about all the energy used to heat your house that literally gets lost in the cracks. Getting your home weatherized is one great way to make sure your utilizing the energy in your home efficiently.
Non Profits like Weatherize DC can help assess your homes energy use and get you started on the profits, but in the meantime there are 4 simple steps you can take upon yourself to reduce your energy use and the cost of your energy bills by 15-30%!
Air seal: Sealing up the tiny holes and cracks in your foundation, basement, and walls is a great way to eliminate escaping heat. Sealing up the spaces around your windows and doors helps stop heat from escaping.
Insulate: Insulating your attic appropriately will keep heat energy from escaping through your roof. Likewise, insulating your water heating pipes will eliminate heat escaping from the pipes, ensuring less energy needed to heat them. You aren’t the only thing that needs bundling up this winter!
Low Flow Faucets: Check your faucets and showerheads to see if they are low-flow. Energy usage is not only coming from your heating and cooling, but it is also coming from your water. Low-flow faucets use half the amount of water normal faucets use, and combine with oxygen pressure so it feels like normal pressure.
Monitor Appliances: This is as simple as turning your washer machine settings to “cold” utilizing less energy to heat the water for the wash. 90% of energy needed to do a load of wash comes from the energy needed to heat the water. (plus, washing on cold keeps your clothes in better shape anyway!) Also, monitoring your thermostat and keeping it around 70 degrees is a good habit to get into. Also a good trick to save energy and money if you’re going away for long periods if time is to keep your thermostat at 55 degrees.
These few simple steps will make a world of difference. Start this cold season off with not just the perfect jacket but the perfect way to save money on your energy bills and improve your energy efficiency!