Seasonal Tips For Your Home
October is Energy Awareness Month!
As temperatures dip and days get shorter, energy bills can climb. Heating and lighting combined make up more than 60 percent of a home’s energy use. You can dramatically reduce your energy bills all year round with discounts on efficient lighting and rebates for a whole-home energy makeover.
Energize Delaware can help you say good-bye to inefficient lights, old furnaces, drafty doors, floors, walls and windows that waste energy and money. Here’s how to get started:
- Count the number of light fixtures in your house and replace old bulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Schedule a home energy audit with an Energize Delaware home energy makeover expert and receive a rebate for implementing recommended energy solutions. The more energy saved, the higher the rebate! Plus, now financing is available to make it even easier!
- If you’re in the market for a new home, get a rebate for purchasing a home built to high efficiency standards.
Did You Know?
- CFLs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer.
- If every home replaced just one light with an ENERGYSTAR-qualified CFL, we would save enough energy to light three million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.
- Today’s CFLs switch on quickly and provide quiet, consistent, bright-white light. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be used indoors and out.
- A small crack around windows and doors can cause a complete change of inside and outside air in the home every hour. That’s a lot of wasted energy and money!
- New energy efficient heating systems can use 30 percent less energy than older models.
Use the ENERGYSTAR home energy yardstick.
- Use weatherstrip or caulk around windows and add door sweeps.
- Replace screens with storm windows or install plastic film on window frames. Use double-sided tape to attach thin plastic film to the inside window frame. A blow dryer will tighten the plastic.
- Close draperies, shutters, and shades to insulate against the cold and reduces drafts.
- Check for leaks around electric outlets and switches, and use inexpensive premade foam gaskets from your local hardware store to seal them.
- Use caulk or spray foam to seal leaks around pipes and vents between the heated space in your home and the attic or basement.
- Remove window air conditioners. If they have to stay put, seal them with caulking or tape and cover them with an insulated jacket.
- You may also choose to hire a certified auditor. They’ll make sure your home is sealed properly, but not too tightly.
- Your water heater will use less energy to keep water warm when insulated. Kits are typically available at hardware and home supply stores.
- Set your thermostat to 110-120 degrees—only as hot as needed—to prevent scalding and to save energy. Consult your water heater owner's manual for instructions on how to operate the thermostat.
- Wrap preformed foam pipe insulation sleeves around exposed pipes to prevent heat loss and reduce the risk of pipes freezing.
- Change filters once a month for standard fiberglass filters and every two or three months for newer pleated filters to improve air flow. Dirty filters can overwork your furnace.
- Remove leaves and branches from the area around your outdoor heating equipment, and consider hiring a qualified contractor to perform an annual maintenance checkup.
- Let the sun warm your home by opening drapes and shades during the day.
- Make sure your damper is working properly. When you’re not using your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed.
- If you use your fireplace often, consider installing glass doors since the fireplace is a major source for heat loss in the home.
- Only use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when you need them, as they remove heated air from the room.
- A programmable thermostat can save up to $180 in energy costs each year.
- Use the ENERGY STAR® setting, if possible, to get the greatest comfort and savings.
Keep the thermostat set at energy-saving temperatures for long periods of time, such as during the day when no one is home and at bedtime.
Set the “hold” button at a constant energy-saving temperature when going away for the weekend or on vacation.
- Well-insulated attics can save up to 20 percent on heating costs. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that Delaware attics maintain an R-38 insulation level (about 12-15 inches of insulation).
- Redirect the airflow on your forced-air furnace from the summertime pattern (more air to higher parts of the house) to the winter pattern (more air to lower parts).
- Close registers in unused rooms.
- Keep registers and returns clear of furniture or drapes.
- When you turn on the radiators for the season, bleed the radiators or baseboard units to ensure efficiency and release air that is trapped in the coils.