Top Energy Saving Tips|
Top Ten Energy Saving Tips For Homeowners
By Steve Gonzalez, C.G.C.
Air Conditioning & Ventilation:
A good central a/c system will have a minimum SEER rating of 13. If
replacing existing units, be sure to replace both inside air handler and outside
cooling unit. These days, warrantees are a huge factor in deciding brands. One
of the largest losses in energy in a typical home is the leaky ducts in the
floor or attic. Check them and re-seal if necessary.
The filter should be cleaned at least once a month and the air handler coils
should be cleaned at least every 7 years. Attic or roof ventilation is important
also. If you have eaves or overhangs, they should have vents. If you look in
your attic, you should be able to see the light from these vents and be sure the
insulation is not blocking the passage of air to the attic space. Properly
spaced ceiling fans throughout the home will help circulate air effectively.
Computerized t-stats will help keep unit off when not needed.
Lighter colors will reflect the sun while darker colors will absorb it. Heat is
the main cause of roof deterioration. If you install a metal roof, be sure to
use a good rubberized underlayment, as metal roofs will heat up quickly. No
matter what material you finish your roof with; the underlayment and flashing
are the keys to a good quality roof.
The use of motion sensors is a great way to save on exterior lighting as well as
fluorescent bulbs both inside and out. Consider solar or low voltage landscape
lights. Night lights use much less electricity if overnight lighting is
necessary. On a clear night, the moon is an excellent light source.
Keep all plants and greenery from touching your home. This will save the paint
job and prevent deterioration of the exterior wall surfaces. Shading the home on
the east and west side will help with energy efficiency. Be
sure the ground slopes gently away from and not toward your exterior walls to
avoid water pooling. Properly sized gutters and downspouts help divert unwanted
water from the home’s perimeter.
Paint provides an important role in day lighting. If you paint a light color on
the ceiling in any given room and the wall adjacent a window, door, or natural
light source, it will bounce that light throughout the room without the use of
light bulbs. Painting the exterior of the home with a good quality acrylic on a
well prepared surface will keep the home cool.
Energy Star rated is a good selection. Remember that the longer a refrigerator
stays open, the longer it runs to cool back down. That mold on the
weather-stripping will eventually create a leak. When baking in the oven,
consider cooking tomorrow’s meal or desert at the same time. The dishwasher will
usually let you know when it goes into dry mode which is a good time to shut it
off and let them dry with the exiting contained heat. Wait for a full load of
dishes. Many folks have the habit of turning the cook top off after removing
food from the burners. Try turning off the burners 5 minutes prior to removing
the food and letting it simmer to perfection. The use of lids and properly sized
pots on the burners will help. The washer and dryer use the same energy as a
full load, even when half full. Keeping the dryer vent clean will optimize
performance. Does your computer run all the time?
Energy saving toilets use a maximum of 1.5 gallons of water per flush. You can
purchase aerators for your faucets and shower heads which will cut down on
consumption. You don’t need to run the water the entire time you are washing
A blanket for your water heater and setting the temperature to 120 degrees will
save energy in a big way. If you are building new construction, consider using a
“loop” system which dumps previously heated water back into your water heater.
Another alternative is to go with a tankless “on demand” water heater. Turning
off the power to a water heater when not in use saves quite a bit. Does your
sprinkler system have a rain sensor that works properly?
Hard floors will bounce air and light and soft floors will absorb them.
Carpeting is considered soft. Wood and carpeted floors require low humidity and
perennial maintenance. Grout on walls and floors should be sealed.
Windows & Doors:
Properly caulked windows and door frames with elastomeric sealant will assure no
leakage from the frames; however, you may need to also caulk the glass perimeter
with clear acrylic sealant to prevent leakage. You can also get solar film
installed on your existing glass. Additional weather stripping will help keep
out the elements. If you are building new construction, consider using laminated
impact glass or double insulated glass on all exterior units with a darker
energy efficient tint. White or lighter colored frames will reflect the sun and
keep the frames cooler. The size, type, and placement of glass in a home are a
key factor in energy efficiency and day lighting.
Be sure your attic has a minimum R-30 rating which is equivalent to
approximately 10” of fiberglass rolled insulation. If your attic has loose or
blown in insulation, you may need a density test to get the true “R” value due
to the inconsistency of blown in products. If you are building new construction,
consider using foil backed plywood decking for the roof in addition to the attic
or rafter insulation.
For more information about how we can help you or to obtain a quote call
954-370-5722 or use our contact form.