How to Cut Energy Costs Throughout the Year

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Courtesy of APower Electric Service

It can be a constant struggle to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without spending a small fortune.  Cutting down on electricity usage can be difficult when everything we use is electronic.  These four things can help you curb those costs.

Ceiling fans are one of the most versatile fixtures you can install in your home.  You can use a ceiling fan all year long to help reduce both heating and cooling costs.  The only requirement is that your ceiling fan has reversible blades.  Ceiling fans can be used in the summer to help make you feel a few degrees cooler, but only if you’re in the same room as the fan.  Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave the room.  The fan should be rotating in a counter clockwise direction so that you feel a breeze when standing beneath the blades.  In the colder months when your furnace is on, you can change the direction of your fan blades to clockwise.  When you do this the fan will mix the warm and cold air in the room to create a more even temperature.  This keeps your furnace from turning on constantly just to maintain an even temperature.

How you light your home can decrease energy costs all year long.  There are three easy ways of saving money and energy with the lighting in your home.  The simplest (and free), solution is to turn off the lights when you leave a room.  Another solution is to install dimmer switches in place of regular switches.  Dimmer switches can help decrease costs because dimmed lights use less energy.  The third energy saver is switching to LED lighting.  You can easily change light bulbs out one at a time or all at one.  This simple act can make a considerable difference. The average wattage of an LED bulb, that is comparable to an old 60-watt incandescent bulb, is only 6-8 watts.  The installation of LED bulbs in light fixtures may initially cost more, but the bulbs can last for years and LED lighting uses significantly less energy than its counterparts.

Programmable thermostats are very useful to help reduce electricity costs.  Programmable thermostats come in many customizable options so it is easy to find the right one for your home.  Along with the installation of a programmable thermostat there are a couple other measures you can take to help increase the efficiency of your home heating and cooling systems.  Units that are equipped with filters should have the filters checked monthly and changed as needed.  If your filter is dirty, that is a sure sign that it should be changed.  Dirty filters decrease air flow which causes the unit to work harder to push air through the system, which uses more energy.

Energy Star ratings are available for anything from light bulbs to washers and dryers, even water heaters.  Energy Star products are designed with advanced technology to use less energy while in use, and to be more efficient over time.  If you are purchasing new appliances or heating/cooling equipment, purchase those with Energy Star ratings.  This can be a more expensive energy saving venture initially, but over time the cost savings and increased efficiency make up for the initial cost.  Look for the Energy Star sticker on products you purchase to save in the long run.

Finding ways to save money and cut energy costs in your home is something you can do all year.  By trying just one or two of these energy saving tips you might be surprised at how much you save over the course of a year.  If you have any questions or would like to make your home more energy efficient, APower Electric Service is here to help.  We can install new fixtures, replace old ones, or even assist you in the switch to LED. 

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