Boost your home’s energy efficiency with these 10 tips

U.S. residents have one of the world’s highest per-person carbon emission rates —and you can trace much of your carbon load beyond your own backyard. It’s in your bathroom, the kitchen, bedroom, and even the attic.

Pittsburgh summers bring average 80-degree temperatures. Thankfully, there are ways you can combat that heat and save on the energy you expend to keep your home cool. Everything you do—from flipping a switch to upgrading your lighting—can add up to significant savings.

Duquesne Light Co. offers customers significant rebates, incentives, and other ways to save on energy and boost home efficiency. Below are 10 more things to consider when improving energy efficiency at home.

Pay attention to the little things.

Bad habits—like leaving the lights on when you’re not in the room or making a whole pot of coffee when you only plan on having one cup—can quickly add up. Being energy-conscious about these minor things may lead to energy bill savings.

Upgrade your appliances.  

Making upgrades or changing the way you use your home’s appliances can help reduce your emissions.For example, unplugging appliances can reduce energy usage by 10%. Replacing a refrigerator that is more than 10 years old can reduce energy usage by 40%. CFL and LED light bulbs use 80-90% less energy than incandescents. Front loading washing machines reduce energy usage by 60%.

Choose an energy-conscious provider.

If you live in a state with a deregulated energy market like Pennsylvania, you likely have the right to choose who supplies energy to your home. Choosing an energy-conscious provider like Duquesne Light Co., which has more than 600,000 customers and has delivered electricity for more than 100 years. Duquesne Light Co. also supports innovative, clean energy solutions via its marketplace that offers discounts on energy-efficient products, rebates, appliance recycling, house energy audits, and more.

Draft-proof your home.

There are many sneaky ways for heat and cool air to escape your house. Draft-proofing your house to gain the benefits of not letting unnecessary cold or hot air in or out. To do this, check the edges of all your windows and doors to see if you feel air coming in on a windy day.

Make an insulation investment.

The best way to keep your home’s temperature comfortable is to invest in insulation for your ceiling, floors, and walls. Insulation will reduce your energy bills throughout the year and help you stay cool during warm weather without putting too much stress on your air conditioning unit. The same goes for cold weather and your heating unit.

Evaluate your water system.

Saving water can cut household expenses while keeping the space more energy-friendly. Hot water systems that are many years old can cause a drain on energy resources. Consider purchasing a newer model if it’s more than 10 years old. If you’re budget-conscious, use simple approaches like taking shorter showers or waiting for your dishwasher to be full before running it.

Make your thermostat smart.

Cooling and heating systems consume more energy than any other appliance, making smart thermostats one of the most effective ways to save energy. These devices can monitor and adjust your home’s temperature and are convenient when you’re out of town.

Think about your windows.

Inefficient windows that let in heat in the summer and cold in the winter can be a very costly business. Instead of forking over big bucks, consider repairing old windows yourself. Improve efficiency by double glazing, putting up well-fitting blinds or shutters, and using window films. Also, consider winter curtains that are quilted to increase your comfort and enable you to keep the temperature down.

Seal up ducts.

Heat can be lost because of duct leakage. Dust and lint can block air vents and reduce the efficiency of your furnace. Make sure to keep them clean and take time to insulate ductwork that runs through unheated crawl spaces or garages.

Check out cost-saving programs.

Known as a customer-centric, next-generation energy company, Duquesne Light Co.’s Light Watt Choices program helps customers conserve energy and reduce demand while lowering their electricity costs. With its proactive investment in the environment, Duquesne Light Co. enhances energy consumption and promotes reductions.

Try out some or all of these energy-saving tips to boost your home’s efficiency (and save money!) today!

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