Four Seasons of Home Energy Efficiency

Andy Lindus
Written by Andy Lindus
Updated July 30, 2016
Thermostat
Smaller, year-round projects can help increase the energy efficiency of your home (and save you money.) (Photo by William Coffee)

A common quandary of many homeowners is knowing that their home isn't as energy efficient as it needs to be, but being uncertain of how to remedy the situation.

As is the case with most obstacles, they are more easily achieved when broken into smaller, more manageable pieces. Below are practical seasonal tips to help you achieve that energy efficient home.

Summer

On days with sweltering temperatures, skip the use of your oven and cook with your microwave, which is known to consume two-thirds less energy. Better yet, why not take advantage of warmer weather and grill out?

Window treatments can prevent the sun’s harsh rays from entering your home and increasing its temperatures.

Using a ceiling fan in tandem with your air conditioner can allow you to increase your thermostat’s temperature by up to four degrees. 

Forgo the use of your dryer on warm days and let your clothes hang outdoors to dry. 

Autumn

As the days get shorter, consider installing motion detection lights both indoors and outdoors. This will not only guarantee that light is available when needed, but also ensure lights are not left on in unoccupied spaces.

Your home can quickly become a dreary place as summer becomes a distant memory. Installing skylights and sun tunnels on your roof can illuminate interior spaces. This will reduce the need for artificial lighting. Skylights and sun tunnels work especially well in rooms that don’t have exterior walls, such as bathrooms, hallways, closets and laundry rooms. 

Winter

Windows and doors that allow drafts make your furnace work harder than it has to. Installing energy efficient options will lower your heating and cooling bills. Not sure of what areas of your home need the most attention? Seek out the services of reputable contractor and have them perform a blower door test, which can also identify if your attic insulation is lacking.

Set fans to rotate clockwise during the winter months. Doing so will draw warm air into a room. 

Spring

April showers bring an abundance of free rainwater. Put this resource to good use with rain barrels. The water collected can be used to water your garden and wash your car. More robust water harvesting systems that collect larger volumes of water can be used for irrigation, toilet water and interior fire sprinkler systems.

Ditching incandescent lighting in favor of LEDs is a smart step, as less than 20 percent of the electricity consumed by these bulbs is used for light. The rest of the energy is converted to heat.

Keep your energy efficiency plan manageable by breaking it into parts and see how your home becomes more energy efficient. 

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