A simple way to reduce home energy costs is to use your existing window blinds to help maximize your comfort, changing and adjusting them with the season. In the winter, open the blinds on the windows that face south to let some sunshine and heat in during the day, and then close them at night. In the summer, be sure to keep the blinds and curtains on the south side of your house closed to protect against the sun’s rays heating up your otherwise nicely air-conditioned interior.
Electronics and miscellaneous appliances are the second largest category of home electricity usage — nearly $200 for the average household. “Phantom power” or situations where these devices are using electricity even when you think they are “off” are the reason. Often (but not always) that little green light that is still glowing is a tip-off.
Your appliances are wonderful modern conveniences — however for the average Virginia household there are significant energy costs. You can save 10% or more on these costs through two easy steps, without any appreciable effect on your day-to-day lifestyle or comfort.
Periodically replacing your air filter will significantly improve your heating and cooling system’s performance. When the filter is dirty, the fan uses more energy to force the air through. When the filter gets too clogged, the whole system can shut down –triggering the need for professional services that could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
The outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors and floor make up the “thermal envelope” of your house. Any gaps or holes in this envelope allow the conditioned or heated air inside your house to escape. When you add up all the small gaps, holes, cracks, and leaks, it’s often the equivalent of leaving a couple of windows wide open– all the time.