Improving energy efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. It also may help you save some money. Your home’s energy efficiency is dependent on multiple factors, including many things you can control. If you are noticing your heating bills on the rise or you are worried about the cost of turning on your air conditioner, consider these tips for improving home energy efficiency.
#1: Have a heating and cooling inspection
Your home’s heating and cooling system play a significant role in your energy costs. An older system may be inefficient, leaving you to manage a high utility bill. One of the first steps is to check your filters. These should be changed, at a minimum, every three months. It’s also important to have a professional inspect your system at least one time every year to ensure they are operating at their best. These tips can make a big difference in your overall efficiency (and may help avoid a breakdown later).
#2: Check your windows
The windows and doors around your home are the biggest sources of energy loss. That means your heating and cooling system may need to work much harder to keep your home comfortable. Check for any air leaks by running your hand along the seams of the windows and along the pane. Do the same for the door. If you notice areas that have a significant change in the temperature, there could be an area where air can get through, which means heat loss. If your windows are older, consider the benefit of upgrading them to new, energy efficient models.
#3: Consider a smart thermostat
Are you heating your home too much during the day when you’re not there? You may be able to reduce your air conditioner temperature at night. These changes can be automated, so you do not forget about them. Use a smart thermostat – one of the most effective and easy updates you can make – to help improve the overall efficiency of your system. It is one of the best ways to gain control over your system from a distance, such as turning up the heat or down the AC on your way home from work.
#4: Update to ENERGY STAR appliances
Many of the main systems in your home should be ENERGY STAR certified. This means that these appliances and other systems are more efficient than other models on the market. Consider an update to your home’s heating and cooling system, hot water heater, and all of your kitchen appliances. Even your washer and dryer may be ENERGY STAR certified.
#5: Boost the insulation around your home
Another way to reduce treated air loss throughout your home is adding more insulation. Adding insulation helps block out all areas where heated or cooled air is getting out. This is often in the attic and in crawl spaces. The investment in this type of upgrade can significantly decrease your home’s energy bills, especially if you have not added any insulation to it in the last 10 to 12 years. Learn what the correct amount of insulation is for your home.
#6: Use a space heater
A space heater may be a good option for heating areas of the home where you spend most of your time. It is critical to ensure that you never leave the room with an operating space heater. However, on very cold days, using them for specific areas of the home may be beneficial to you. It may help you keep from having to increase the temperature throughout your home.
#7: Have an energy audit performed
Perhaps you don’t know why your home’s utility bills are on the rise. You may not have a lot of time to focus on trying to pinpoint what’s causing them to increase each month. An energy audit may be able to help you. A professional can come to your home, provide an inspection, and determine where you may be able to reduce your costs based on inefficiencies.
One of the most important things to do to keep home energy efficiency top of mind is to work closely with your local professionals. We work to keep your home’s main systems in good working order with routine maintenance and service, when necessary. Contact us today to get started.