Everyone is talking about being energy efficient. We all know to shut the lights off, turn down the heat and don’t let the water run, but is there other things we can do to keep our energy usage down? Of course there is! Here are five uncommon ways to be more energy efficient.

  1. Install new eco-friendly shower heads. Moving water in any way into your home takes energy. In order to pump it in from a well you need electricity to power the water pump. If you have public water supply, it still takes electricity to move it in and out of your home. Heating that water that you just moved into your home takes even more energy. Using a low pressure shower head will dump less gallons per minute than an older, high pressure model. The lower pressure models of today are manufactured to lessen the amount of water per minute, but still give you a nice refreshing shower.

  2. Install new replacement vinyl windows. Old windows will crack, warp and move over the years. This causes them to move inside their opening in your exterior wall. This creates cracks and holes that allow for heat to escape and cold air to come in. Some window defects can be repaired, but nothing is as sure as replacing your old, cold windows with new, vinyl replacement windows.

  3. Block your un-used chimney. If you do not use your chimney anymore, blocking it is the way to go. You can call a professional and have them officially cap it off, or you can stuff old blankets or newspapers up in it. Unused chimneys can be an open freeway for cold air to come in and warm air to go outside. Do not block off your chimney, if there’s any chance that you may use it. A good idea is to put a sign on your fireplace or stove that lets everyone know that the chimney is blocked and not able to be used.

  4. Toilet water control. Using less water in your toilet is an easy and effective way to lessen your water usage. Placing a rock or brick in your toilet tank will lessen the amount of water used per flush, but still have enough to have a clean flush.

  5. Shut off your coffee pot. After your coffee is done brewing, shut your machine off. Put your hot coffee in an insulated thermos to keep it hot all day, without the added electricity. If you add hot water to your thermos and let it sit for a few minutes before adding your hot coffee, then your thermos will be preheated and ready to hold your hot coffee for hours to come!

Being more energy efficient doesn’t have to be a big change. Small steps can add up and make a big difference on your energy usage!

Here at Window Nation we’re always looking for ways to create a more energy efficient home. To share the knowledge, we’ve put together the top 6 tips to make your home more energy efficient and thus save money on your utility bills and cut down on our resource use.

How To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient 

For more information on energy saving tips as well as our replacement windows, entry doors, or vinyl siding for your home in Virginia, Maryland or Ohio, contact us today! 

Not-So-Fun Fact: Nearly 25% of our country’s energy is used by homes alone, and the typical American family spends $2,000 a year on home utility bills. Unfortunately, tons of energy and money are wasted through leaky windows, ducts, old appliances or inefficient heating and cooling systems. In 2010, space heating accounted for almost half (45%) of typical utility bills.

While windows can be one of the most beautiful features of your home, you can thank leaky ones for 10-25% of your heating bill, and for making your air conditioning system work extra hard during those crazy Maryland summers. In fact, the Energy Department reported that windows are responsible for $35 billion that homeowners lose in air-conditioning and heating costs each year.

If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane windows with low-e coating. These types of windows do a great job of reducing energy waste in your home, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Replacing your windows may not be an investment you’ve planned for yet, and that’s fine. As you begin to make these plans, be sure to research the return on certain home improvement projects. Hint: Replacement windows are one of the highest returning home improvement investments, averaging a 72% ROI!

In the meantime, here are some easy, low-cost (or no-cost) tips and tricks to help make your home more efficient:

  1. Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.

  2. Study your family’s lighting needs and look for ways to use sensors, dimmers or timers to reduce usage. 

  3. Plug home electronics – TVs, DVD players, etc. – into power strips, and turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. Even in standby mode, TVs and DVD players still use several watts of power.

  4. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and air dry dishes and laundry.

  5. Look for ENERGY STAR ® labels on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, etc. ENERGY STAR ® products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

  6. Clean or replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners once a month or as recommended.

  7. In the summer, save money by automatically turning up the air conditioner at night or when you’re away from home. 

  8. Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.

  9. When purchasing home office equipment, look for products marked with the ENERGY STAR label. These computers, copiers, printers, monitors, etc. can provide energy savings of up to 90%!

Window Nation is a family owned and operated window replacement company proudly serving all of MD, VA, DC, NC and Ohio. For more information on replacement windows, new vinyl siding or entry door systems, please contact our team today!

SOURCES: EnergySavers: Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home, Yahoo! Homes: Cut costs with energy-efficient windows