5 Tips for a More Energy Efficient Home
The typical American family pays around $2,000 a year for their home’s energy bill. With simple upgrades and changes, a family may save around 20 – 30 percent on these bills.
With energy cost always seeming to rise and never go back down, having an energy efficient home can save you money as well as saving the planet. Learn more about how to improve your energy efficiency at home with these 5 great tips.
1. Use a Programmable Thermostat for an Energy Efficient Home
You can save money and energy with a programmable thermostat because your home will never be too warm or too cold. You can set your thermostat to raise the temp in your home 8-10 degrees when you are not home in the summer. Taking your temperature down by 10 degrees in the winter when you are at work could save you about 10 percent a year.
2. Replace Incandescent Bulbs
Try switching your incandescent lightbulbs to light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for more efficient, longer lasting lighting. You can save on your electric bill with these bulbs.
3. Seal Air Ducts and Installation
EnergyStar estimates about 20-30 percent of the air in ductwork is lost through leaks and poorly attached ducts. Your heating and cooling system has to work 20-30 percent harder to keep you house at the set temperature wit that lost air. Because your system is working harder, your energy bills will be higher.
You can prevent this air leakage by having a professional do regular inspections. They can test all your ducts to make sure they are moving air efficiently.
Do you have proper insulation? You could be losing air through gaps and spaces in your insulation. Check out newer products, like Tiger Foam, that insulate without leaving any gaps, saving you money on your monthly energy bills.
4. Set Water Heater to Right Temperature
Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can lower it 10 degrees, you can see about 3-5 percent savings.
If you can’t find the temperature gauge on your water heater, turn your kitchen sink to hot. Let it run to at the hottest temperature and then check with a thermometer to see if it’s 120 degrees.
Gas water heaters have a red dial near the bottom of the tank by the gas valve. Electric water heaters have a thermostat behind a panel or screw plate.
5. Tune Up Your HVAC System Regularly
Because half of your home’s energy is used for heating and cooling, it’s important to check your air conditioner and furnace to make sure they are working properly. If there are any issues, these systems will cost more money to run.
You should change your air filter regularly like once a month in the spring, summer, and fall. You can change the filter every three months in the winter. This helps your system run more smoothing, using less energy.
Always leave your vents open. It does not save you money to close vents in unused rooms like people originally thought. Closing these vents increases pressure in the ductwork, making your system work harder.
Looking for Other Ways to Go Green?
Having an energy efficient home saves you money – and also helps the environment. Check out other ways you can live a green lifestyle like this article on using glass water bottles. You can also learn more about hydroponic gardening.