By doing some research and making simple adjustments to your living space, you can save money, energy and make your home comfortable throughout the year.
- There are a variety of programmable thermostats that can be set to fit your schedule on a weekly basis. Some models even indicate when to replace air filters or HVAC system problems, which improves the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
- Heating and cooling costs constitute nearly half of an average home’s utility bills, so these reductions in the intensity and frequency of heating and cooling offer the greatest savings, per energysage.com.
- On average, appliances are responsible for roughly 13% of your total household energy use. When purchasing an appliance, pay attention to the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost. Although energy-efficient appliances usually have higher purchase prices, their operating costs are 9-25% lower than conventional models.
- When purchasing an energy-efficient appliance, look for appliances with the “ENERGY STAR” label, a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy during use and when on standby than standard non-energy efficient models. Note that energy savings differ based on the specific appliance.
- Replace air filters and tune up systems. Regular maintenance of your HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system not only keeps your systems operating at peak efficiency, which reduces energy bills, but it can also uncover small problems before they become expensive or dangerous. Consider setting up a schedule and reminders to regularly replace filters. This not only keeps internal parts clean but ensures that a dirty filter doesn’t stop airflow. This increases energy efficiency and provides cleaner air.
- Weatherizing is a great way to reduce your heating and cooling expenses. The most common sources of air leaks in your home are vents, windows, and doors. To prevent these leaks, ensure that there are no cracks or openings between the wall and vent, window, or doorframe.
- To seal air leaks between stationary objects, such as the wall and window frame, you can apply caulk. For cracks between windows and doors, apply weather stripping. Weatherstripping and caulking are simple air-sealing techniques that typically offer a return on investment in less than a year.
- Air leaking out of your home is most often from the home interior into your attic through small openings. Whether it is through ducts, light fixtures, or the attic hatch, hot air will rise and escape through small openings. As the natural flow of heat is from warmer to cooler areas, these small openings can make your heating bill even higher if your attic is not sufficiently insulated. To reap the full amount of savings from weatherization, you should consider fully insulating your home.
- Insulation plays a key role in lowering your utility bills through retaining heat during the winter and keeping heat out of your home during the summer. The recommended amount of insulation for your home depends not only on where you live, but the various locations in your home. The attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace are the five main areas where you may want to add insulation. More information can be found from the Department of Energy.