Best Ways To Improve Energy Efficiency of Your Home
By Bryn Huntpalmer
So, you don’t live in a home that’s been built within the last year and has solar panels and an automated thermostat? Not many of us do. Until you move into a newer home or make a major upgrade, there are simple ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Here are some easy and realistic steps you can take that will help you save money and the planet.
Take Advantage of the Energy Star Home Advisor
Energy Star offers a free online program that helps you make energy efficient changes in your home. This customized program is easy to use. Once you fill out the Home Profile, you’ll receive a list of simple things to do to your home. As you work your way through them, you can check them off and keep track of your progress.
The main areas the website challenges you to focus on include utility bills, lighting and appliances, building envelope, heating and cooling, and other home features. A cool aspect of the site is the ability to see how many pounds you’re reducing your carbon footstep by. Along with the Home Advisor, the site has a Knowledge Center filled with extra tips and different pledges you can make for a better home. You can also take advantage of the Home Energy Yardstick which helps you see how you measure up to other homes when it comes to energy efficiency.
Look For Leaks
Fixing air leaks is one of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. If you have a few spots in your home where you feel drafts, this may be a good indication that you need to be fixing those leaks. Energy.gov points out that you can have air leaks on both the interior and exterior of your home.
To begin, walk around and look for air leaks at the exterior corners of your home, where the siding and chimney meets, and near outdoor water faucets. On the inside of the house check baseboards, door and window frames, vents and fans, and electrical outlets. Fixing these air leaks is very easy. All you have to do is use some caulking or weatherstripping. If you find that your windows are a place for a lot of air leaks, you may need to replace them.
Install An Automated Thermostat
Today, you don’t have to think about how to save energy when it comes to your thermostat. Thanks to automated, advanced systems, all you have to do is adjust your heating and cooling a few times and the thermostat will do the rest. Nest is a thermostat that works with WIFI so you can adjust it remotely from your smartphone. If you’re away from me, simply turn your air conditioning up with a touch of a button. Nest will begin adjusting to your habits and will save you energy and money. Although the upfront cost is pricey, in the long run, this simple item will help your improve the energy efficiency of your home.
If You’re Serious, Get An Energy Audit
Last, but not least, if you’re serious about energy efficiency, hire a professional to conduct an energy audit. With the help of a professional, you’ll learn how to optimize your home. Some of the tests that will be performed include a blower door test and a thermographic scan. To find someone to do an energy audit, Energy.gov suggests that you contact your state or local government energy or weatherization office. You can also see a list of certified energy auditors at RESNET, the Residential EnergyServices Network.
For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com. Images via of Energy Star and Energy.gov.
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