reduce energy costsBaltimore area homeowners with high utility bills may wonder how to reduce energy costs while retaining maximum comfort. 

Besides upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC system, following these “whole-house” tips should help you noticeably reduce energy costs: 

Instant savings

  • Set hot water heater at 120 degrees.
  • Set refrigerator temperature to 37- 40 degrees for fresh food, and 5 degrees for frozen (0 degrees, if freezing for extended periods).
  • Keep doors, windows and fireplace dampers tightly closed when not in use.
  • Turn on ceiling fans.
  • Turn off lights, and electronics when not in use, at the power strips, if possible.
  • Turn off exhaust fans within 20 minutes of use.
  • Clean dryer vents frequently.
  • Clean/unblock radiators, baseboard heaters, and warm-air registers.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothing; avoid overloading or using the “rinse hold” cycle.
  • Use toaster or convection ovens for small meals.
  • Match pan sizes to heating elements.
  • Avoid operating faucets on “hot” unless truly needed.
  • Scrape, rather than rinse or soak dishes.
  • Air dry dishes and clothes, whenever possible.
  • Cover kitchen exhaust fans when not in use.
  • Take short showers and avoid taking baths.

Low cost upgrades

  • Energy efficient light bulbs, air filters, and window treatments
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Water heater timers and insulation
  • Lighting dimmers, sensors or timers
  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Chimney balloons
  • Weatherstripping or caulk around small leaky areas (foam sealant on larger gaps)
  • Foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates
  • Deciduous trees and/or vines on the west and south sides of your home
  • Heavy duty, clear plastic inside window frames

Professional services and upgrades

  • Air conditioner coil cleaning
  • Insulation, ductwork and flashing
  • Storm windows and/or double-pane, low-emissivity windows
  • Zoned HVAC systems
  • Heat pumps
  • Passive solar cooling and heating
  • Green roofs
  • Energy efficient appliances

If you have any questions about how to reduce energy costs, or to schedule a home energy audit, contact us. We’ll be delighted to assist you.

Image Provided by Shutterstock.com

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