23 Energy Saving Tips for your New England Home Another season in New England means more bills to pay. With rising temperatures during the summer months and sudden cold fronts in winter, your monthly bills may be close to breaking the bank if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home and save money throughout the year. Join us today as we explore how to be mindful about your energy usage and help make the beauty of living in New England an enjoyable (and cost-effective) experience year round. Here is a list of tips to save on your energy bills starting this year: 1. Change air filters every 1-3 months. To reduce strain on your HVAC system and encourage efficient airflow throughout the home, you should check your air filters regularly for any clogs or dirt buildup. These can cause increased stress on the HVAC system and, in turn, reduce its efficiency. We recommend to replace them every 1-3 months to maintain maximum efficiency and steady air flow in your home. 2. Install a programmable thermostat. In Massachusetts, many homes rack up unnecessary utility costs while when no one is at home or overnight. We recommend installing a scheduled thermostat with a temperature sensor to reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10%. This will allow you to set specific times for different temperatures based on your needs. You’ll save energy and prevent unnecessary usage of heating and cooling systems while no one is home. 3. Keep window coverings closed. Window coverings such as curtains, blinds, shades etc., provide insulation against solar radiation coming through windows helping to keep internal temperatures low during hot summer days! They can also add an extra layer in winter to prevent cold from getting into your home. A simple curtain over a window can do wonders in keeping out the cold. 4. Caulk around doors, window frames and any other cracks. Before winter rolls around it’s important to check all entry points of cold drafts in your living space. Caulking these areas can block out air gaps and add an extra layer of insulation. This will prevent leaks and help increase your home’s energy efficiency. 5 . Plant trees or tall bushes near south facing windows. Although we may want to keep our beautiful view of the yard, natural shading helps decrease solar heat gain inside your home. Trees planted near south facing windows block direct sunlight and also absorb some of the surrounding heat. This can be especially useful during extreme outdoor temperatures, which are becoming more common in New England. 6 . In winter time, open curtains in sunny areas. Open your curtains on sunny winter day to let in that warm sunlight. This will pro flowing warm light to provide extra warmth without the use of electricity, oil or gas powered radiators. 7 . Invest in ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. Energy Star certified products consume less power compared regular household items. You’ll save money by cutting down on your bills over time ensuring long term savings with minimal effort. 8 . Unplug electronics. Even if electronic devices aren’t turned ‘on’ they still draw power with phantom loads. This leads to unnecessary power consumption. Simply unplugging these devices after using them will lower your energy bill. 9. Wash clothes only when there’s full loads. The best way to maximize efficiency and save energy is to make sure you only use your washing machine when it is completely full. Run a complete cycle instead of breaking it down into smaller loads. 10. Make sure all lighting fixtures use LED bulbs. LED bulbs are much more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs. This will help you to reduce electric bills over time. 11. Adjust refrigerator settings. Set the temperature of a refrigerator as necessary. This will ensure that food stays fresh for longer while also using less energy to do so. 12. Insulate walls & ceilings. Installing insulation into walls and ceilings, will ensure that heat stays inside the house during colder months. This allows you to use less heating from radiators or furnaces during winter. 13. Check and seal ducts. Sealing any air leaks around ducts prevents hot or cool air from escaping through small cracks or gaps in your home. This reduces energy loss while helping maintain comfortable temperatures within living spaces. 14. Use effective ventilation systems. Having a good ventilation system installed in your home helps to remove stale air out and also bring in fresh oxygenated air. This creates a healthier indoor environment in your home. Many of these systems are included with a self regulating temperature and humidity sensor as well. 15. Check your HVAC unit routinely. Scheduling professional inspections of home appliances like HVAC units ensures they’re working properly. This will extend their life but also make them more efficient. 16. Reduce water usage. Taking steps such as fixing leaky faucets and investing into high efficiency shower heads can help reduce the amount of water you heat up when you shower or wash your dishes. 17. Replace older single pane windows. If your house has outdated single pane windows then replacing them with double or triple pane glass will drastically improve its ability to keep the inside of your home warm during the winter season. This will help to lower the amount of electricity used to generate warmth in your home during winter. 18. Routinely check your boiler/furnace. Checking the efficiency of your furnace/boiler should be a part of every homeowner’s yearly routine. Doing so helps prevent sudden breakdowns and help to extend the life of your heating system. 19. Educate yourself about modern building techniques. Stay ahead of the curve and research the latest advancements in the construction industry. Find out the best materials and techniques to build a more efficient home Have a look at our list of ICF benefits to see find out how an ICF home can drop your energy bills. 20. Consider investing in geothermal energy. Compared to other renewable sources, such as wind or solar, geothermal offers the lowest long term operating cost for any homeowner looking to move away from conventional fossil fuels. Check our Resources section below for more information if you live in an area suitable for geothermal. 21. Look into state subsidies in your area. Some states may offer incentives to homeowner;s who are looking to transition to a cleaner energy supply. In Massachusetts, there are financial aid programs set up to provide the opportunity to purchase the necessary equipment to get started with renewable energy. (see Resources below for more details) 22. Make use of renewable sources such as solar panels. Install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and capture the sun rays each day as they produce clean and green electrical current that will help power your household appliances. This will also provide you with more independence from the grid. 23. Use motion detectors. Motion sensors that are connected to your indoor or outdoor lighting will automatically turn off after a certain period of time where there is no movement detected in the area. This will conserve the overall power usage of your home on a daily basis. Conclusion These tips are a great and sometimes easy way to save money in New England and Massachusetts this year. Consider the excess costs that come with non-stop summer air conditioning or winter heating bills. These small steps combine to help lower your yearly utility bills over time. Resources Here are some resources that may help guide your next steps to Energy Efficiency. Here are some potential subsidies in the Massachusetts area: https://www.masssave.com/residential/rebates-and-incentives https://goclean.masscec.com/clean-energy-solutions/solar-electricity/ https://www.mass.gov/energy-rebates-incentives You can see if the area you live in is suitable for geothermal at: https://mgs.geo.umass.edu/biblio/soil-survey-gis-layers-massachusetts . They have a range of different maps that use Lidar technology among others to see if you live in an area where it is possible to install a geothermal pump system.