Some quick crowdsourcing unearthed the most common jobs that people weren’t getting done.
Armed with that list, we consulted experts to offer advice on tackling those nagging projects once
and for all, and offer you resources for when you don’t want to do it yourself.
Experts are here to help
Saving energy at home
BY KATIE COLEMAN
There are many small steps you can take to make
your home more energy-efficient and save money.
This do-it-yourself guide was made with help from
the experts at Buffalo Energy, Inc., a full-service
energy contractor in Elma that is partnered with the
New York State Energy Research and Development
“A lot of people don’t realize how much energy
they use in their houses,” said Mike Woodward,
project coordinator at Buffalo Energy.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with lower-wattage LED bulbs: “Switching your light bulbs
ranks in the top five things you can do to save energy
in your home,” said Ken Kazmierczak, one of the
owners of Buffalo Energy, who says making the
switch can save you up to fifty dollars a year on your
electric bill. For those with experience, installing a
light dimmer for frequently used lights also helps to
control electricity output as needed.
Check the furnace filter every month: Keeping
your filter clean and replacing it when necessary
helps furnaces from working overtime. Your furnace
needs proper airflow, so make sure nothing is up
against it. Moisture, odd sounds, and smells coming
from your furnace are indicators of a problem.
“Have a yearly maintenance done on your furnace
to make sure it’s running at its peak efficiency,” says
Keep your fridge full: When you open your
refrigerator and freezer doors, cold air drops out of
them and the empty space must be recooled. The
less food you have in there, the harder the appliances
work to maintain the temperature. If you don’t keep
a lot of food in the house, you can throw bags of ice
in the freezer, or jugs of water in the fridge to take
up space and keep more cold air in.
Optimize your dryer efficiency: Avoid extended
dry times by keeping your lint trap clean. Check the
outside dryer vent to make sure it’s not clogged with
lint. Look behind your dryer and see what kind of
pipe you have: if there is a lot of excess tubing, you
can cut it to make it
as straight as possible.
“Metal hard pipes are
the best,” says Russ
Miner, HVAC contractor
at Buffalo Energy.
Unplug small appliances when not in use:
Even when switched
off, appliances still use
energy if they’re plugged
in, known as vampire
draw. You can combat
this by simply unplugging appliances or using
a smart power strip,
turns off related devices
when the “master”
device is not in use.
windows and doors:
Doors and windows are
weak points in the home
where air can leak in.
Preventing these leaks
helps to cut down on
your heating and cooling
bills. Check your door
seals and make sure
they are intact. Check
your window for air
leaks; caulk or weather
strip if necessary. “It’s
inexpensive and you
don’t have to be really
good at caulking. Just
get all the little seams
on the windows and it
stops the drafts,” says
Buffalo Energy, Inc.
5763 Seneca Street
Elma, NY 14059
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