Home energy use can be very expensive, and the high expense of home energy sneaks up on us. Most homeowners don’t know how much energy an appliance or a technology item really uses. It isn’t easy to find out the energy use of any one item, not to mention every item collectively. Regardless, saving energy is possible by taking a few steps to reduce energy consumption. The following steps have been proven over time to save homeowners money and also to prolong the life of some equipment.
Set the Water Heater Thermostat 120 Degrees
Most households only require the water heater temperature to be set at 120 degrees. This temperature will also prolong the life of the water heater by slowing mineral buildup in the tank. This temperature poses little if any health risk. if a family member has a suppressed immune system or a chronic respiratory disease, you might consider setting the temperature at 140 degrees.
Change the Furnace Filter
A clean furnace filter puts far less stress on the furnace and its fan motor particularly. A dirty filter forces the furnace to work harder because the filter restricts the air flow. Thus, the air quality in the home will not be as comfortable, and it might even be less healthy because the allergens, dust and other floating material cannot get through the filter. The frequency with which you change the filter depends on several factors. Pets in the home may require a frequent change as might a home located in an area where there is a lot of dust in the air. Of course, and a filter that appears to be dirty is dirty. Several opinions exist on the best type of air filter. Check this website for an excellent discussion on filters: bobvilla.com/articles/furnace-filter/bv=relart#.VtdE7vkrI1k
Caulk Around Doors, Windows, Outlets and Switch Plates
These areas will allow outside air to enter and inside air to escape to the outdoors. You can also buy foam pieces that fit behind the outlet and switch plates. Caulking around the door and window frames is an excellent idea for saving energy. Infrared technology studies have been conducted on homes that do not have adequate caulking and these studies clearly demonstrate that air does escape through these unprotected areas. Installing new weather stripping around exterior doors is also an excellent idea. Make sure that the door thresholds seal the bottom door opening. Have someone outside watch while you shine a flashlight under the door. If the light comes through, then the threshold needs to be adjusted.