How To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

No matter if it is the middle of the summer or in the cold of winter, energy waste is a concern to every home owner and renter.  Nobody wants to give their money away to the electric company or the gas company when they can spend it on themselves and their family!

In a day in age when New Build Homes are Zero Net Energy because of new building materials and built in solar power, the rest of us are fought holding the bag paying our hard earned money to keep our families happy in the most extreme weather.

In builder lingo, the better a structure keeps out the wind and the rain, the tighter its envelope is.  So even though we are not rebuilding your house we can fix it up nice and tighten your home’s “envelop”

Here are a few tips to help you save some coins in your pocket…

First lets start out by testing your homes efficiency here.    https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=HOME_ENERGY_YARDSTICK.showGetStarted

Now that you know where you are starting from lets see how we can improve.

Change filters regularly on the air-conditioning and heating unit.  This is one of them most overlooked and simple ways to save.  You don’t need to spend big money on top notch filters either… The simple, cheap filters that look thin will allow the air to flow easier  and create less suction on your A/C Unit, making it easier for your compressor to work, potentially lowering the cost of running your Air!

Set water heater temperature to 120 degrees.  this should be plenty hot and help to run your water heater less.

Buy energy-efficient LEDs for exterior light.  They are far more efficient, last as much as 10X longer than the average lightbulb and they don’t attract bugs.

Check your doors for air leeks… a simple way to do this is to look for light coming through where the door and the frame meet.  If you can see light you are defiantly getting a loss of cool or warm air that you are spending money creating.  You may need to adjust the way your door hangs or it can be as simple as replacing the rubber around the door frame.

Check your Windows for Leeks… Windows are a major culprit here, accounting for as much as 30% of your energy loss! The U.S. Department of Energy suggests a few ways of finding cracks that aren’t immediately visible

  1. shine a flashlight around the edges of the window at night
  2. use a lit incense stick to detect drafts
  3. shut the window on a piece of paper — if you can pull it away without tearing, it suggests the window is not closing tightly.

If you don’t have energy efficient double pained windows and can’t afford to upgrade try these methods to help out.

Caulk the gaps and cracks around your windows. If you are caulking from the inside, choose a non-elastic decorator’s caulk, which can be painted. If you are caulking from outside, an elastic, silicon-based caulk is more durable, although it doesn’t take paint as well.

Acquire and hang heavy curtains that fall a good bit below the window, ideally reaching the floor. Such curtains are available second-hand, which is a green and relatively cheap option.

Stick an ultraviolet or reflective window film to the inside of your windows if overheating is a major problem, causing increased use of the air conditioning system.

http://energy.gov/articles/5-steps-making-your-windows-more-energy-efficient

These are just a few ways you can help save yourself some money during the cold of winter or the high intensity heat of summer!

Of Course, you could always buy a new home.

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