Van Grol Inc is sharing some tips on how people can keep their home energy-efficient.

This is especially important right now during the state’s stay-at-home order.

General Tips

1. Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-saving lights. LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs while lasting up to 25 times longer. LED bulbs produce less heat than incandescent models reducing your cooling costs saving you money.

2. Clean or replace your HVAC system air filters regularly. How often you need to do this depends on conditions in your house. For instance if you have pets that shed or you live in a particularly dusty area, you’ll need to clean/replace them more often – perhaps as often as once a month. At the very least, do it at the start of each heating and cooling season. A clogged air filter will greatly reduce air flow causing the system to run longer and consume more energy, but it can also reduce the lifespan of those units.

3. Conserve energy by turning off and unplugging all non-essential electrical devices that aren’t in use.

4. Set computers and monitors to go to “sleep” after 10 or 15 minutes of inactivity to save in the range of $50 per computer annually.

5. Turn off unnecessary lights (and other appliances). This can save you money all year-round, particularly in summer when reducing the use of heat-generating appliances can limit interior heat gain and the need for additional air conditioning to combat it.

Stay Cool Tips

6. Try turning your thermostat up even higher in summer and using ceiling or box fans in occupied rooms to increase air flow and the cooling effect it creates. A fan will use much less energy than the air conditioner, operating at a lower temperature, will. Just be sure you don’t leave fans running in unoccupied rooms. That will waste energy and provide no added comfort.

7. Practice thermostat set-back. This means setting the thermostat a few degrees higher during times you plan to be away from the house for a few hours or at night when you are sleeping. If you don’t already have an electronic set-back thermostat, consider investing in one. For a relatively low cost, you can program in your set-back schedule and then forget about it for hassle-free savings. When your air conditioner or heat pump is running, make sure all windows are tightly shut (and locked to keep them from accidentally popping open) to limit air escape.

8. Save clothes washing and drying, dishwashing, cooking, vacuuming and other heat- and humidity-producing activities for the late evening hours, when outdoor temperatures are cooler and your air conditioner will run less saving you money.

9. Keep windows shaded – particularly those facing west – especially in the afternoon, to limit solar heat gain. East-facing windows can be shaded to block morning sunlight.

10. When cooking, use the right size pan for the stove burner. This will help ensure most of the heat from the burner will go to heat your food, not the air in your house.

11. Run kitchen and exhaust fans only as long as absolutely necessary to clear excess humidity caused by cooking and bathing from the room. This is especially important when your air conditioner or furnace is running. Exhaust fans not only remove excess humidity, they can also pull conditioned air from the building.