Whole-house energy efficiency isn’t achieved overnight. But, with a few upgrades and the elimination of some bad energy usage habits, you can improve efficiency and comfort over time. This room-by-room guide will get you started.
- Keep your oven and range clean to increase energy efficiency.
- Reduce cooking times by keeping pots covered. This also prevents heat and moisture from entering the air and increasing the strain on your HVAC system.
- Don’t pre-rinse dishes. Instead, scrape food into the garbage before using the dishwasher.
- Switch to Energy Star certified appliances. A certified dishwasher, for example, is 12 percent more efficient and uses 30 percent less water.
- Running water baths waste water. Take short showers instead.
- Turn off faucets while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- When upgrading toilets, faucets or shower heads, look for the Watersense label.
- Clean your exhaust fan for improved energy efficiency. Upgrade to an Energy Star certified model. They’re 55 percent more energy efficient than standard models.
- Wait until you have a full load before running the wash.
- Use water saving and efficiency settings.
- Clean the dryer lint trap between loads to improve air circulation and energy efficiency.
- Weather permitting, dry clothes outdoors. An indoor rack can also be used.
- Upgrade to an Energy Star certified washer to reduce water usage by 45 percent and cut energy usage by 25 percent.
LIVING ROOM AND BEDROOM
- Open curtains and blinds during the day to take advantage of natural light and heat. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
- Turn off unused appliances when out of the room. Use a smart power strip to simplify the process.
- Use ceiling fans to bump your thermostat by two degrees in summer. Reverse the blades in winter for a five-degree thermostat reduction. Keep in mind that ceiling fans don’t cool the room, just the people present - so turn them off when the room is empty.
- Reduce thermostat settings at bedtime and use blankets if you start to feel cool.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).