Ways to Make Your House More Energy Efficient
As we enter the winter months, cold air begins to creep into our living spaces. Curbing home energy usage becomes a priority, as the weather becomes cooler and heating costs begin to rise.
When all aspects are working properly, a home is like a balanced ecosystem. One or two items can throw off the energy efficiency of a house. Here are some you may not of thought of.
A Simple Method for Finding Energy Leaks, Target the shell of the home.
Cooler weather brings blustery days. A stiff breeze may be a wake-up call to fix your drafty access points, but it is also the type of weather you need to determine where winter chills are entering your home. You can use incense, a candle, or any smoke-emitting device to trace around door and window seams to determine if drafts are making their way into your home. Once you know where the draft is coming from, there are multitudes of easy and inexpensive ways to keep your hard-earned money. Here are some ideas if new windows aren’t in the budget this season.
Use weather stripping to insulate around operable window and door openings. Installing sweeps on your doors takes a little effort, but can lead to less draftiness along the floor; where a little comfort can make a lot of difference.
You can purchase an inexpensive, easy-to-install insulator kit for windows of any size. Your local hardware outlet will have these kits which are composed of transparent plastic sheets that can be taped around your interior windows, and then shrunk tight to size with a blow dryer. Window insulation kits are a temporary fix, but they are cost effective and much more efficient than you might think. As long as you don’t mind the look!
Better Energy Saving Alternatives: Higher Cost but Worth the Price
The methods described above for fixing drafty openings require little cost or effort. However, if you are willing to consider a permanent home improvement, the time and effort is well worth the cost.
• Replacing or adding better insulation to an older home will help keep the cold out, heat in, less energy on keeping the thermostat steady year round
• Replace your windows, especially if they are single pane. Upgrading to triple pane with Krypton fill window will positively impact your energy bill, both summer and winter. Replacing your window to an Energy Star rated window will save you money! It will also give you a cosmetic upgrade while keeping you more comfortable in your home.
Once you have the shell of the home energy efficient it’s time to look at the inside.
• Replacing your old furnace with a high efficiency system. If your furnace was built before 1992 and has a standing pilot, it wastes about 35% of the fuel it uses, Time to replace!
• Next, we look at the energy efficiency of appliances – Avoid the temptation to use the old fridge as a backup for party supplies and liquid refreshment. The extra storage space will cost you: figure an extra $50–150 per year in electricity to keep that older fridge running. In contrast, the new fridge, particularly if Energy Star-rated, may cost only $30–60 per year to run because refrigerator efficiency has improved so much in the past three decades.
• Lighting – CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) can save three-quarters of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs. Most people don’t think about the fact that the electricity to run a lightbulb costs much more than the bulb itself.