Understanding Home Energy Users: The Top Five

September 6th, 2018 by Allie Foster, Marketing and Communications Manager

While most homeowners would like to be more energy efficient and save money, sometimes it can feel very overwhelming. How can you use less energy and lower your utility bills? To help jump-start your effort, it’s useful to know the top energy users in your home. With this knowledge, you can choose a path that works best for your family.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the top five energy users in U.S. homes are:

  1. Space cooling
  2. Lighting
  3. Water heating
  4. Space heating
  5. Refrigeration

HVAC Efficiency

Together, home heating and cooling use the most energy. On the bright side, there are ways you can save at least 10 percent on heating and cooling:

  • During warm weather, the recommended indoor temperature is 76 degrees.
  • During cold weather, set your thermostat to 68 degrees.
  • Clean or change the filter of your HVAC system monthly to cut costs 5–15 percent.
  • Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors to prevent conditioned air from escaping to the outdoors.
  • No matter what the climate or time of year, proper use of a programmable thermostat can save you up to10 percent on your monthly utility bill.

Lighting Efficiency

Take a fresh look at the lighting in your home. If you still use incandescent lighting, your lightbulbs are operating at only 25 percent energy efficiency. Replacing your home’s five most frequently used bulbs with Energy Star-certified LEDs can save $75 per year. Another easy way to save is to always turn lights off in rooms that are not being used.

Water Heating Efficiency

We all know that it is smart to insulate your roof, walls and floors, but did you know that it also pays to insulate exposed hot water lines? Another recommendation is to drain 1–2 gallons of water from the bottom of your tank annually to prevent sediment buildup.

Appliance Efficiency

If your refrigerator was purchased before 2001, chances are it uses 40 percent more energy than a new Energy Star model. If you are considering an appliance update, a new Energy Star-rated fridge uses at least 15 percent less energy than non-qualified models and 20 percent less energy than allowed by current federal standards.

By understanding how your home uses energy, you can determine the best ways to modify energy use and keep more money in your wallet. For additional ways to save, visit www.maconelectric.com/efficiency-information.  

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