Almost every American could use better energy conservation strategies.
Why, you ask? Consider that the average residential utility customer in the United States cranks through nearly 11,000 kilowatthours of electricity per day. That’s two and a half times more than the average home in the United Kingdom, four times more than our friends in Italy and 10 times more than a typical house in India.
Unfortunately, because many U.S. homes are older and inefficient, much of that energy is wasted - and that gets expensive.
8 energy conservation strategies to start planning today
Good news: there are several energy conservation strategies you can plug in without rewiring the entire house. Here are eight of our favorites.
1. Lower your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have kids, this is good idea, anyway. Keeping your water at this temperature reduces the chances of an accidental burn. You’ll still have a great hot shower in the morning, but you’ll reduce your carbon footprint, keep your family safer and save a little cash.
2. Install a programmable thermostat. It's frustrating to come home from work and find your home is too hot or too cold. That's wasted energy, friend. A programmable thermostat equalizes the temperature when no one's home, and then returns to a preset level in time for you to come home. This lowers your utility bills and saves energy.
3. Choose Energy Star products. You’ve seen the Energy Star sticker on appliances. To get an Energy Star rating, products must meet certain levels of energy efficiency. By replacing existing appliances with Energy Star-rated products, you can save on electricity costs - and you may be eligible for tax breaks, too.
4. Get an energy audit. When you get a professional opinion on your biggest energy drains, you can start budgeting appropriately. Improve your insulation. Replace old pipes. Upgrade leaky windows and doors. You might find out that the problems aren't what you thought and save yourself time and money.
5. Use the sun's energy to heat your home. Cold but sunny outside? Make sure to open your shades during the day so that the sun can warm your home. Close heavy shades in the evening to help insulate against the cold air outside.
6. Service your heating system according to the manufacturer’s schedule. Regular maintenance on your HVAC system keeps the unit running at peak efficiency. You also improve the chances that the unit will keep working well for years to come, putting off big repair costs.
7. Insulate your water heater and pipes. There are simple and cost-effective ways to insulate your current water heater. Use a special water heater blanket and wrap the first few feet of your hot and cold pipes to increase efficiency without replacing the entire unit.
8. Don't set your heat higher than you need it to be. You might think that if you set your heater unit at a higher temperature, your home will heat up faster. This isn't true at all! Your home takes just as long to heat, but your furnace will run longer and harder and consumes more energy than necessary.
You've got the power, Maryland.
If you'd like to have a master electrician take a look at your current energy situation or let an HVAC expert decide if you're efficiently heating and cooling your home, schedule service with us today. If you're in Maryland, Washington, D.C. or Northern Virginia, you'll find us.