5 Ways to Save Energy Around Your Home

The need to save energy is more urgent now, than ever! While this winter broke the record of being the coldest since 1996, many of us would prefer not to experience record breaking utility bills. Below are 5 practical ways you can take to save energy around your home.

1) Make your furnace more efficient by replacing an old filter. Your furnace has to work harder when your furnace filter is full of last year's dust, therefore increasing your heating expenses. Purchasing a higher-end filter such as a HEPA filter will also provide cleaning air by removing dust and allergens. Other ways to save money include purchasing a washable furnace filter that is good for 5-10 year, and having your ducks and vents cleaned.

2) Eliminate drafts around your house. Although replacing windows and doors in January is unpractical for most people, there are still simple things your can do to reduce drafts. Some ideas include: placing door draft stoppers under your doors, putting plastic over leaky windows, checking your windows to make sure they're shut all the way, and plugging any unusual leaks in your home's exterior, such as a basement or attic leak.

3) Reverse your ceiling fan to better distribute heat. By changing the direction of your ceiling fan to run clockwise so that the air is blowing down into your room, you will make better use of the heat your furnace or boiler already produced. You will feel warmer and reduce heating costs.

4) Eat in! Instead of driving across town and paying a high dining bill, you can cook at home and allow all of the heat from your range or oven to permeate throughout your house, along with the aroma or homemade food! If you've been meaning to try out a new recipe, now's your chance! In the summer you can likewise opt to cook outside on the grill so your air conditioner runs less.

5) Replace old light bulbs with energy efficient ones. You might already be familiar with or own compact florescent (CFL) light bulbs, which are well known for saving energy. But newer light bulbs with a longer lifespan, lasting 3-4x longer, are hitting the market. For example, Home Depot is selling 60W Equivalent Soft White (2700K) A19 Dimmable LED Light Bulb (4-Pack) for $19.97 that have a 22.9 year life-span! So look around your house and see if any of those old incandescent light bulbs are hiding out and replace them today.