New Year’s Resolutions for an Efficient Home

Make 2020 the year you improve the comfort of your home and slash your energy bill.

While most new year resolutions fall by the wayside by February, the following tips are easy to stick to and will pay off for years to come.

Use this helpful list of ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home:

Modify Some Habits

  • Let dishes air-dry: Using a dishwasher is fine, but turn off the heated drying setting and let dishes air dry instead. The heated drying cycle uses a tremendous amount of energy, plus it can shorten the lifespan of the appliance.

  • Wash clothes in cold water: Hot water requires energy and, generally, your clothes won’t come out any cleaner. (In fact, you risk shrinking your clothes.) Use cold water in your washing machine instead.

  • Stop opening the oven: Just by opening it, you can experience a temperature drop of around 25 degrees, and this adds up over time.

Unplug Devices

While having a home office can be a great way to reduce your commute time to work, leaving the equipment on can raise your energy bill. Simply unplug laptops, monitors, printers, and other electronics when not in use. Remember to turn off lights that aren’t being used before you go to bed. You can save around 13 percent of your total residential utility bill on this item alone.

Schedule an HVAC Tune-Up

For most homeowners, heating and cooling is the single largest energy expense. Maintaining your central air system will ensure it operates at peak efficiency, preventing breakdowns and curbing operating costs.

We recommend you have your heating and cooling system tuned up twice a year — spring and fall.

Replace Your Air Filter

While maintaining your HVAC system should be left to the pros, one simple thing you can do yourself is changing your air filter on the regular. We recommend replacing it every 30 to 90 days. This step alone will trim your heating and cooling costs by as much as 15 percent, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows

If you’re serious about lowering your energy bill while improving the efficiency of your existing energy system, consider replacing your windows. Many homes have single-pane windows. These are less energy-efficient than windows designed to retain as much heat as possible during the winter, for example. You can also tint the windows or add solar shades.

Weatherize Your Home

This can include adding or replacing insulation, for example. It also involves detecting and repairing leaks. You can also caulk the edges of your door casing or windows to prevent air from seeping through these small openings.

Bottom line: There are two key methods you can use to save money on energy bills. The first is to change, replace, or upgrade existing energy features in your home. The second method doesn’t cost you anything because it involves merely changing some of your habits that tend to drive your energy bill up. Finally, get an inspection to detect dirty ducts, electrical problems, and any leaks to fix for the new year ahead. For all of your heating, cooling and electrical needs in 2020 and beyond, contact ThermoDirect at (919) 355-9880.

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