Energy bill costs can add up quickly whether you’re keeping your home warm in the winter or cool during summer. Fortunately, there are simple strategies to cut down on energy costs so that you can spend your hard-earned money elsewhere.
You may wonder how outdoor plants can affect the indoor temperature of your home. Well-placed trees and tall bushes can block sunlight from entering through the windows, preventing the air conditioner from overworking. Plant a tree at the sunny side of the house so that the shade falls over a window or two. Plants also absorb energy to perform photosynthesis, so they will intake the heat coming off your home during the summer months.
Keep the air moving in your home to prevent one room from overheating or staying too cold. Prop interior doors open to allow for natural ventilation. When the heat or air conditioning is on, air can move freely throughout the house. Ceiling fans help with air flow and they aren’t just for the summer. Have the fan move counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter. When the blades move clockwise, they push rising hot air back down to create circulation.
Retractable screens also help provide natural ventilation. When temperatures aren’t too hot outside, a natural breeze should suffice to keep the home cool. By installing retractable screens, you can open your windows and doors without worrying about bugs getting in. Open windows on both sides of the house for some nice cross ventilation.
Close air vents in rooms you don’t often use. This way, hot and cool air doesn’t travel there, saving energy.
The colors you choose to decorate your home can impact how much energy you use on a daily basis. Albedo is the phenomenon where bright colors reflect light while dark colors trap and absorb light. Use albedo to your advantage by decorating your home with bright colors in the summer and dark colors in the winter. An easy way to do this is with curtains. Thin, white or cream curtains will reflect the sun’s energy back out your window, giving your air-conditioning unit a break. Change the curtains out as the weather gets cool and put up darker colors instead. The dark drapes will absorb light from the sun, which will help keep your house warm.
The mesh of Phantom`s retractable door and window screens blocks UV rays from entering your home. You can choose the mesh based on how much light is blocked. Retractable screens can reduce building heat gain, resulting in saving on energy costs.
Replace halogen and incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s). Incandescent bulbs only turn 10 to 15 percent of the electricity used to power them into light. The rest of the energy is converted to heat. CFL’s don’t have this problem. They are more energy efficient and they last longer. CFL’s come in different sizes and types so be sure you buy the right ones for your fixture. You can also recycle the bulbs when they burn out.
Place lamps in the corner of the room. This way, light will have two surfaces to reflect off of, making the light more powerful. Rather than placing multiple lamps in a room, strategic placement allows you to get by with one.
Keep large appliances – like TV’s – away from air-conditioned thermostats as they pump out a lot of heat when in use. If that heat is spilling over the thermostat, it will work harder because it thinks the house is warmer than it is. Plug your electronics into a power strip and turn it off when you are not using the items. This prevents the appliances from using unnecessary energy.