Whether you are buying your first home or just want to boost your current homesteads more energy efficient, we have a few tips to ensure you spend your hard earned money on. These tips listed below will cause a small dent in the pocketbook initially, but over time they will help you save money.
Hire a Professional Company
The first step whether buying or making your current home energy efficient is to hire a professional company to run a series of tests in your home. The tests run the gamut from how efficient your HVAC ducting is, how well sealed your windows and doors are, etc. Once this test is complete, the company will provide you a written report displaying the overall efficiency of your home. Often these companies can complete the necessary updates and there are times where a rebate from your local electricity or gas provider could come your way.
During the above test, you may discover that you home has lost insulation depth since the home was originally constructed. Your home will stay cooler in the warmer months and warmer in the cooler months if it bares the proper amount of either rolled or blown insulation.
Complete a window check. Ensure all windows are property caulked and sealed to prevent inside air from escaping outside and outside air from getting inside. If you live in a home where the window frames are aluminum, you may investigate the cost of upgrading to a vinyl frame. The same applies for single panes – if your home has older windows, it is possible they are single paned and upgrading to either a double or a triple window pane will increase the efficiency of your home and contribute to lower utility costs. In the summer months, make sure the solar screens are affixed to your windows preventing sun from trickling inside warming up the interior.
Replace older appliances that do not have high energy rating. There are various gadgets you can pick up at your local hardware store to determine which appliance in your household is using the most electricity and may need to be replaced.
Be Mindful of Usage
Be mindful of how you use your appliances. When you leave for long periods of time or before embarking on a vacation, unplug appliances that do not need to be running. Think of your computers, video games and water heaters.
Regularly Replace Air Filters
Make sure you are regularly changing your air filters in your home. Each month when your mortgage is due, change your air filters. During the efficiency inspection, you may discover ducting in your attic for the HVAC system may have come loose. Be sure to secure the ducting so no air escapes into the attic. The easiest way you can improve your efficiency is to install a programmable thermostat. Another tip involving your HVAC, is to have the complete system serviced twice a year by a professional company as dirty units or units in need of repair run less efficient.
Say Adios to Incandescent
Update your light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs. This one change can have a huge impact on your overall energy usage as fluorescent bulbs last 12 times longer than incandescent bulbs
Live Off the Solar Grid
Consider installing solar panels on your roof, however, check with your homeowners association first to ensure they are allowed per their rules and regulations. Depending on your electricity provider, you may could even produce electricity for your home rather than take it from the provider.
Plant a Tree
Lastly go green, literally! Plant a tree or two in the area of your yard that gets the most sun. During the summer months, the leaves will provide shade for your windows and in the winter months the bare tree will allow sunshine to flow into the windows warming up the inside of the home.