Most of us track spending habits by looking at purchases in stores and online. But what about the money that is spent by the home every day without us even realizing it? The home’s heating and electrical systems add to monthly expenses, especially if they’re not functioning efficiently.
Fortunately, there are many ways homeowners can improve their home’s energy efficiency.
- Conduct an energy audit.
The first thing every homeowner should do is to find out how energy efficient their home is. This can be done through a professional energy audit. Thorough audits are done using specialized equipment and provide detailed information about the home’s energy use. Various tests will be done to identify air leaks, signs of mold and moisture, and safety hazards.
- Create a whole-house plan.
Once you know where the home is losing energy, it’s time to create a plan to improve energy efficiency, comfort, durability, and safety. You may need to change habits, such as turning off lights and electronics when not in use. Installing window coverings could help maximize heating and cooling, while adjusting the times and days you take care of certain house chores like laundry and dishwashing could lower energy costs. Create a timeline for the various projects you’ll be working on.
- Weatherize the home.
The next step is to address all air leaks by weatherstripping doors and windows, installing foam gaskets, and applying foam sealant. If you have a chimney, consider using an inflatable chimney balloon to seal the fireplace flue when not in use.
- Use a smart and programmable thermostat.
A few years ago, smart thermostats were a luxury. Today, they’re a money-saving must-have. Homeowners can save up to 10% per year on heating and cooling by lowering the thermostat by seven to 10 degrees every day in the fall and winter, and raising the temperature in the spring and summer. A programmable thermostat will automatically make adjustments to increase energy efficiency.
- Choose an efficient HVAC system.
When shopping for a new HVAC system or other appliances, be sure to choose ENERGY STAR rated models. A new energy efficient system can reduce energy consumption by 20% or more.
If you have any questions or would like personalized recommendations for your home, give us a call!