Energy Saving Tips
Insulating Your Home
Checking your home's insulating system is one of the fastest and
most cost efficient ways to reduce energy waste and maximize your
energy dollars. A good insulating system includes a combination of
products and construction techniques that provide a home with
thermal performance, protect it against infiltration, and controls
First, check the insulation in your ceiling, walls and floor to
see if it meets the levels recommended for your area. Insulation is
measured in R-values, the higher the R-value, the better your
ceiling, walls and floor will resist the transfer of heat.
Area Minimum Recommended:
- Ceiling: R-19 R-38
- Wall: R-11 R-18
- Floor: R-11 R-19
Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more
energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 44%
of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling. No matter what
kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have
in your house, you can save money and increase comfort by properly
maintaining and upgrading your equipment.
If you use electricity to heat your home, consider installing an
energy-efficient heat pump system. Heat pumps are the most
efficient form of electric heating in moderate climates, like South
Carolina's, providing three times more heating than the equivalent
amount of energy they consume in electricity. There are three types
of heat pumps: air-to-air, water source, and ground source. They
collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and
concentrate it for use inside. Heat pumps do double duty as a
central air conditioner. They can also cool your home by collecting
the heat inside your house and effectively pumping it outside. A
heat pump can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating as
much as 30% to 40%.
Heat Pump Tips:
- Do not set back the heat pump's thermostat manually if it
causes the electric resistance heating to come on. This type of
heating, which is often used as a backup to the heat pump, is more
- Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain
the system according to manufacturer's instructions.
Landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home
more comfortable and reduce your energy bills. In addition to
adding aesthetic value and environmental quality to your home, a
well placed tree, shrub, or vine can deliver effective shade, act
as a windbreak, and reduce overall energy bills.
- Trees that loose their leaves in the fall ( i.e., deciduous)
are the most effective at reducing heating and cooling energy
costs. When selectively placed around a house, they provide
excellent protection from the summer sun but permit winter sunlight
to reach and warm your house.
- Vines provide shading and cooling. Grown on trellises, vines
can shade windows or the whole side of a house.
- Deflect winter winds by planting evergreen trees and shrubs on
the north and west sides of your house.
- When you leave a room, for no matter how short a time, it's
always better to turn off the lights.
- Use only the amount of light you need - solid-state dimmers and
3-way bulbs let you choose.
- For maximum lighting efficiency use higher lumens-per-watt
bulbs. Watts measure the amount of energy going into a bulb. Lumens
measure the light output or brightness of a bulb. This information
is printed on bulb packages. To determine efficiency, divide the
lumens by the watts of electricity used. For example a 100-watt
bulb measuring 1710 lumens would be: Efficiency = 1710 lumens, 100
watts or 17.1 lumens-per-watt.
- Fluorescent lighting delivers three to four times the light of
incandescent bulbs of the same wattage, and last up to 10 times
longer. Long-life bulbs are less efficient, so use them only
in hard-to-reach places where it's difficult to change bulbs.
Where regular incandescent bulbs regularly burn out prematurely,
try replacing them with 130-volt incandescent or halogen
- When lighting for safety or security, use lower-wattage bulbs
where practical. For reading, sewing and other close work, use
higher-wattage bulbs. Keep light bulbs, reflectors, shields
and lampshades clean. Dust and dirt absorb light, lowering lighting
levels as much as 50 percent.
For More Information
For more information on lighting and other energy efficient
methods, contact us.
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