How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Businesses have jumped on board and developed systems and products so the money-smart homeowner can find lots of ways to lower their energy costs.
Websites offering a free service to calculate energy costs, and present the energy providers likely charges has empowered property occupants to take control of their energy use and get a better outcome.
There are so many ways to save energy in the home from sealing gaps around windows to installing solar panels and more energy efficient HVAC systems.
Average Usage in Percentages
Before exploring ways to save money on energy costs, it’s important to understand that the largest percentage (around 44 percent) of your utility company bill is for heating and cooling. This is followed by 33 percent for lighting and cooking. Heating water and other appliances make up the rest.
Information is power as the adage goes so use it to make better choices on your energy usuage with a plan to make your home more energy efficient.
Energy Efficiency Plan
In your plan include the tasks you can do immediately to save power like sealing windows etc and invest in replacement of big usage systems like your washing machine and HVAC.
Upgrade the HVAC System
Since heating and cooling is the largest hunk of home energy costs, it makes sense to start here.
At the minimum, make sure to have your system checked and tuned if needed. A professional energy audit is the best way to see if more of your energy costs fair share is going to heating and cooling.
Keep in mind that replacing the system with a more energy-efficient one may be a major expense at first but will pay off big time in savings down the road. Modern air conditioners are surprisingly energy-efficient. Consult a company like Actronair for the latest in energy-friendly models.
Replace Your Washing Machine & Use Cold Water
Invest in a more energy efficient washing machine and use cold, or at least warm water when using the clothes washer. The greatest percentage of energy used by a washing machine is for heating the water, so using cold water will save a significant amount of energy. Most of the time clothes will get just as clean.
Lower the Thermostat
Don’t leave the house every day without lowering the temperature on your thermostat. Setting it 10 to 15 degrees lower on days during the work week can amount to a five to 15 percent savings over a year.
Seal Windows and Cracks
Sealing air leaks around windows and cracks is an easy and inexpensive way to lower energy costs. Seal around drafty windows with weatherstripping. Chaulk any cracks in drywall. Also, consider applying a sheet of shrink film over windows.
Limit Use of Space Heaters
They feel toasty in cold weather, but space heaters will dramatically increase your energy bill. Most use 1,500 watts of energy. Add an extra layer of clothing or curl up with a blanket instead.
Use Energy Saving Lighting
Check your home for any incandescent light bulbs and replace them with halogen bulbs, light-emitting diode(LED)bulbs, or compact fluorescent lamps(CFLs). All of these offer more efficient and longer-lasting light.
Unplug Unused Chargers
Energy.gov reports that the average phone charger uses 0.26 watts of energy when not in use. Phone and other chargers are easily overlooked, and over time, can add up to 10 percent of your energy bill. Unplug all chargers not in use.
Add Insulation to the Attic
A little more insulation in the attic will go a long way in cutting down both heating and cooling costs. Blowing in extra insulation will cost around $1,000 but will add up to great savings over the years.