Energy prices have been rising steadily in the United States. The climbing costs of natural gas, electricity, and oil have been reflected at the pump and in our monthly utility bills. Bostonians enjoy a reputation for embracing energy-efficient initiatives such as choosing renewable energy suppliers or installing solar. But there are many things a homeowner can do right away to make their home more energy efficient and enjoy the economic benefits that follow. The following summer energy saving tips for your home include cost-free daily best practices, inexpensive routine maintenance, and moderately priced home improvements which will yield substantial savings, leave a little more in your pocket at the end of every month, and give you the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to the global effort of improving energy efficiency.
1. Windows: Your windows invite natural sunlight into the rooms of your home. They also usher in the heat. Close the window treatments during the day to help keep your home cool, and relieve some of the burdens from your air conditioning system. Taking additional steps by upgrading your window treatments to thermal coverings and properly caulking or weatherstripping around the windows will increase your energy efficiency dramatically by keeping the heat at bay.
2. Filters: Cleaning and replacing the air filters on your air conditioning system, and other household systems, should be on your routine maintenance checklist. A congested air filter can increase energy usage in the cooling system by fifteen percent.
3. Thermostat: When first turning on your thermostat to cool your home avoid setting it to a lower temperature than your desired temperature. Attempting to cool the home more quickly using this method does not work. It will only make your unit work harder and use more energy in the process. Additionally, a programmable thermostat is an intelligent and moderately priced upgrade to any home. Using a programmable thermostat to keep your home slightly warmer when you are away, and cooling the home down shortly before you return, will yield significant energy savings. And by all means, don’t confuse your thermostat by placing lamps or other heat-generating appliances close by. These items will keep your cooling system running longer than necessary.
4. Dining: Using your oven can easily raise the temperature in the kitchen by 10ºF. There is a treasury of dining options in the Greater Boston area. Summertime is the right time for eating out, especially during particularly hot days. Share the wealth by supporting your favorite local restaurants while saving on home energy costs in the process: a frugal and delicious decision. When cooking at home make use of your outdoor grill often. Putting older kids in charge of the grill is a simple way for them to share in household responsibilities, while you can enjoy the cool comfort of the kitchen preparing the salads and cold dishes.
5. Appliances: Upgrade your air conditioning system to an Energy Star rated model. Higher rated SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) and EER (energy efficiency ratio) models are 15% more energy efficient than outdated cooling systems. To enjoy additional savings all year long consider replacing your other appliances - especially your refrigerator and dryer - with Energy Star models.
Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty has been working with buyers and sellers at every price point in Greater Boston and surrounding areas for 50 years. We look forward to helping you this summer with your real estate needs. Contact our team today!