This story was written for our sponsor, Pella Windows and Doors of North Carolina.
October is the month for pumpkin spice lattes, Friday night football games and falling leaves. But it also ushers in cooler temperatures, which can cause home heating bills to increase.
The good news is homeowners can save money by saving energy.
In recognition of Energy Awareness Month, here are some tips and resources to live smarter and more sustainably:
1. Create a home energy profile.
Homeowners can get started by checking out the Energy Star Home Advisor tool, which provides a prioritized list of energy-saving recommendations customized to their home.
2. Look for the blue label.
The blue Energy Star label can be found on a variety of products, including dishwashers, refrigerators and new windows and doors.
That designation means the product meets or exceeds strict energy performance standards from the Environmental Protection Agency. As a bonus, with the purchase of Energy Star products, homeowners may also be eligible for tax credits.
3. Choose better windows.
Installing energy-efficient windows and doors not only helps reduce emissions, by decreasing the potential energy needed to heat and cool the home, but it also saves money.
According to Energy Star, replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient glass saves the typical home anywhere from $101 to $583 a year, while shrinking a home’s carbon footprint by 7 to 15 percent.
4. Install smarter.
A window or door is only as good as its installation, and proper installation is critical to maximize your energy efficiency.
For the best quality service from start to finish, homeowners should be sure to work with an installation specialist who is regularly certified and properly trained.
5. Practice good habits.
- Plug electronics into a power strip, allowing the entire strip to be turned off when electronics are not in use.
- Use a microwave or toaster oven to reheat food. Ovens use more energy.
- Keep freezers full -- the fuller a freezer is, the less energy it uses.
- Set dishwashers and washing machines to economy and/or green mode.
- Turn off fans and lights when not in use.
- Shorten the amount of time spent showering to save on hot water costs.
- In addition to Energy Star certified windows, look for appliances labeled with the Energy Star stamp of approval.
6. Maximize natural light.
When homeowners rely on natural light for most of the day, electricity costs can be reduced.
If renovating their home, homeowners should consider adding new windows to increase the amount of natural light. If building a new home, families should consider combining an open floor plan with lots of windows brings in even more natural light.
This story was written for our sponsor, Pella Windows and Doors of North Carolina