More and more people want to make their homes energy efficient to save money and increase the value of their houses. As a result, we have put together this list of energy saving tips. Here are small ways and big ways to save energy in your home.
1. Change your air filter
Especially during heavy use seasons of winter and summer, your HVAC filter gets dirty and can slow down air flow, making the system work harder to warm or cool your home. That’s wasted energy. Changing the air filter every 90 days prevents the kind of dust and dirt buildup that could lead to expensive system maintenance and/or early system breakdown.
2. Tune-up your heating & cooling system
Just like a car, an annual tune-up for your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency, comfort and longevity. Refer to Energy Star’s® maintenance checklist or its handy guide on how to find the right contractor.
3. Install a programmable thermostat:
This is most useful for people who are away from the home for set days/hours during the week. By pre-programming settings, this thermostat can help you save nearly $200 off energy bills annually.
4. Sealing/insulating heating and cooling ducts
If you want to improve your heating and cooling 20 percent or more, seal up the ducts. First you should focus on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement or garage. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, look to seal any other ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house. Click to see a full Duct Sealing Fact Sheet.
5. Add insulation
Adding insulation to the attic, crawl space or basement and exterior walls in conjunction with air sealing will help keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Increasing your home’s insulation is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste. According to HomeAdvisor, insulation is the best investment you can make in a long-term residence. Even if you go for more expensive materials and pay a hefty price upfront, you’re almost sure to recoup that money with lower utility bills over time. If you don’t have the money to insulate your entire house, consider one area at a time. View the 2019 Insulation Cost Guide.
6. Install more energy efficient windows, doors, and skylights
Look for Energy Star® products and install storm windows and doors to save energy and improve the comfort of your home or building. Air filters into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About 20% of this air filters through openings in your windows, doors, and skylights. Storm windows alone can reduce heat loss through windows by 25% to 50%.
7. Install an energy efficient hot water heater
An energy-efficient tank water heater or an on-demand tankless water heater can make a difference. Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home, typically accounting for about 12% of your utility bill. Also consider using less hot water, turning down the thermostat on your water heater, or wrapping your water heater with insulation.
8. Install thermostatic control valves in your shower
These valves shut off the shower once the water turns warm, saving hot water and energy until you are ready to enter the shower.
9. Upgrade household appliances
Research appliances and electronics with an Energy Star® rating or view ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2019 qualified products. Appliances account for about 15% of your household’s energy consumption, with refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers at the top of the consumption list.
10. Install more efficient lighting
Choose Energy Star® qualified light bulbs and lighting fixtures for the most used fixtures in your home or building. An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%.
Some of these tips are easy to do yourself with a little time and little money. Others are larger jobs which require larger budgets and probably professional help as well. One way to pay for big energy saving projects is to get a home equity loan. Click the link to read more or call one of our loan advisors today!