Wisely managing your home's energy use keeps your energy costs down while providing you and your family comfort through all seasons. UES has plenty of ideas to save money on your electric bills.
The information on this page was gathered from
the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Increasing your lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your energy bills. If you replace 25 percent of your lights in high-use areas with fluorescents, you can reduce your lighting costs by about 50 percent.
When the temperature rises, so does the demand on your air conditioner. Heating and cooling costs account for about 44 percent of your yearly energy spending. Here are some tips to help keep your house cool without overheating your energy costs.
Commonly referred to as swamp coolers, evaporative systems require good air circulation to cool effectively. To allow air to flow freely, open a window in each room, preferably selecting a window as far away as possible from the supply air register. You also want to:
The most energy-efficient heating and cooling system available, a heat pump uses a dual system that cools your house in the summer and heats it during the winter. In the summer, it removes heat from the house, dehumidifying as it cools. In the winter, it reverses the cycle and transfers in heat from the outside air. Even when outside temperatures are zero degrees Fahrenheit, the air contains about 80 percent of the heat energy it contains at 100 degrees.
Careful operation and maintenance of equipment can greatly reduce heating costs. Here are some practical tips to keep your costs low:
The building envelope includes everything that separates the interior of the building from the outdoor environment: the doors, windows, walls, foundation, roof, and insulation. All these components need to work together to keep a building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Your home's insulation, for instance, will be less effective if the roof, walls, and ceiling allow air to leak in or allow moisture to collect in the insulation.
There are ways to determine how energy efficient a building really is and, if needed, what improvements can be made. Homeowners can conduct simple energy audits on their homes or have professional audits done. The UES BrightSave Home program can provide this kind of valuable information.
Checking your home's insulating system is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste. A good insulating system includes a combination of products and construction techniques that provide a home with thermal performance, protect it against air infiltration, and control moisture. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating and cooling needs by up to 30 percent by investing just a few hundred dollars in proper insulation and weatherization products.
As specified on the product packaging, follow the product instructions on installation and wear the proper protective gear when installing insulation.
If you are planning to remodel your home or add a room, investing in energy-efficient materials and building techniques will save you money on your electric bills for many years to come.
Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. Insulating ducts that are in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost effective. If you are installing a new duct system, make sure it comes with insulation. And be sure to get professional help when doing ductwork. A qualified professional should always perform changes and repairs to a duct system.
Swimming pools provide a great way to exercise and beat the summer heat. Building and maintaining a pool, however, also adds significant costs to your household budget. To save on these expenses: