1. Best Home Improvements To Increase Energy Efficiency
Although home improvement might seem expensive, it is possible to make small improvements that will increase your home’s energy efficiency. Many people believe that to improve their home’s energy efficiency, they must spend thousands of dollars. It is impossible to be more wrong. You can make a huge difference in your energy bills by simply replacing one switch or switching to energy-saving appliances. Although you may not see the immediate benefits, over time you will notice a decrease in energy waste, especially if your home is located in a warm area. You can also reduce your energy bills by switching to energy-saving models for your light switches. You might be surprised at how simple energy-saving strategies can have a significant impact on your ComEd and Peoples Gas energy bills. With that being said here are some ideas to do so.
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Install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can replace air conditioners that consume a lot of energy.
Replace the air filter in your heaters or air conditioners every so often.
Adjust your thermostats to the right temperature. They should be set to a comfortable temperature at night and unoccupied. For every eight hours that the thermostat is lower, a homeowner can save about 2% on their heating bills. For example, lowering the thermostat from 75°F to 70°F can save about 10% on heating bills.
Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats save money because they can automatically turn down heating and cooling during night and daytime. Programmable thermostats are free of mercury and can help you save up to $150 a year on your energy bills in certain climate zones.
You can either use a pellet or a wood stove. These heat sources are more efficient than furnaces.
Replace incandescent lights. Lighting accounts for 11% of the household’s energy budget. Incandescent lighting converts only 10% of their energy into light and the rest is converted to heat. New lighting technologies such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes, can help reduce lighting energy consumption by up to 50%-75%. Lighting controls have made it possible to save even more energy by decreasing the time lights remain on when they are not being used. Here are some facts on LEDs and CFLs.
You can seal and insulate your home by yourself, making it more cost-effective and efficient. You can increase comfort and indoor air quality by sealing your home. This will also reduce utility bills.
Make sure to start with things you feel comfortable doing yourself and as you can afford it, start to hire out any projects you do not feel comfortable with doing on your own. In no time you can make your home the most waste resistant possible.
2. Energy Savings Ideas For Your Home
Chicago and Northern Illinois residents have been encouraged to save as much energy in their homes as possible. In turn, this will only help lower electric and utility bills and avoid any power outages. Here are some simple ideas to save some energy in your home.
To conserve water in your home, you can install the following systems: Low-flow showerheads. You can choose from a variety of flow rates and some even have a pause button that shuts off the water while you lather up.
Low-flow toilets. Toilets are the largest water consumers, consuming 30% to 40% of total household water. A replacement of an old 3.5-gallon toilet by a low-flow, the 1.6-gallon toilet will reduce water usage by an average of 2 GPF (gallons per flush). This can save 12,000 Gallons per year. Low-flow toilets often have a “1.6 GPF” label on the bowl or inside the tank.
In the average American home, appliances and electronics account for 20% of household energy costs. Simply adding or purchasing energy-efficient appliances you can drastically cut down costs and bills in your home.
Modify the way that you wash laundry. Use the lowest setting of your washer. Do not use the medium setting unless you have washed all your clothes. The medium setting will save less than half the water and energy needed to wash a full load. A water temperature of 140 degrees F will use more energy than the 103 degrees F setting. However, 140 degrees F is not as effective at cleaning clothes. Also, any excessive lint is a fire hazard and can prolong the drying time of your clothes.
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Although there are many more ways, these are some simple ways to get started.
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