Get in the energy efficiency habit

Posted on Sep 29 2019 in Steuben County REMC
Remember to turn off the lights whenever you leave a room to save energy.

It’s possible you’re wasting a lot of energy at home without even realizing it. October is Energy Awareness Month, the perfect opportunity to change your wasteful habits. 

Just as some foods contain hidden calories — so you gain weight without intending to cheat on your diet — you could be using electricity when you don’t need or want to. 

The solution: Survey every electric appliance, plug and light fixture in your home to learn whether you’re using them in the most efficient way. Here’s how to start: 

UNOCCUPIED ROOMS. Get your family in the habit of turning lights off when they leave the area. Likewise, don’t leave porch lights or landscape lighting on during the day. Can’t remember to flip the switch? Install timers, photo cells or occupancy sensors that will turn lights on and off. 

THERMOSTAT. Why keep an empty house cozy and warm? Install a programmable thermostat that will kick the heat up in the morning right before you wake up; scale it back when everybody leaves for school and work; crank it back on when it’s time for the family to get home at the end of the day; and ease it lower at bedtime. 

WINDOWS. Every crack and tiny hole on the inside of an exterior wall is a place where cold air can sneak into your house and mix with the comfortable heated air that you paid to warm up. Caulk around windows, electrical outlets and the points where cables and other cords come into the house. 

INSULATION. Your builder probably installed plenty when your house was built. How long ago was that? Over time, attic and slab insulation can diminish or fall away from the surface it was meant to protect. Once that happens, warm air can escape through the roof or floor and cold air can get in. Check your insulation at least once a year and add or replace it as needed.