When you're home for the day, your energy budget will likely be working a little harder than usual. Use these tips to make your afternoons more energy efficient.
Go energy-lite on lunch
Making a quick sandwich doesn't use much energy. However, if you're reheating yesterday's leftovers, use the microwave; it uses a lot less energy than a standard oven. When you clean up, scrape your dishes instead of rinsing them and load them into your dishwasher. Wait until you have a full load to run it to avoid wasting energy.
Control heat gain
In summer, close window treatments — such as curtains and shades — on south- and west-facing windows to reduce heat gain during the day. In winter, open those window treatments to bring that heat in, especially on south-facing windows.
Use ceiling fans
Run ceiling fans in occupied rooms. The moving air helps your skin feel cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning. Turn off the fan once you leave the room. Reversing the fan's direction in winter will help circulate warm air from the ceiling down into the room, improving the effectiveness of your heating system.
Let the sunlight in
Sure, you need to keep heat gain under control, but there's still plenty of opportunity to bring in sunshine to light your home during the afternoon. Sunshine is the best-quality lighting available, it's all natural and it's free. What more could you ask for? If you need extra light on cloudy days or in your home office, use a small task lamp.
Upgrade for savings
- WiFi programmable thermostats can help keep you comfortable and save energy based on your schedule. Smart models provide advanced features, such as remote control and self-programming.
- Insulating window treatments — such as cellular shades and thermal curtains — can save energy and improve comfort during summer and winter.
- ENERGY STAR®-certified LEDs use up to 75% less energy than standard bulbs and provide vivid task light for your home office and other areas.
With these simple measures, you can give your energy budget a little nap this afternoon and all year long.