Making Your Home Energy EfficientNovember 22, 2011 // Posted in:
Last Updated on November 22, 2011
Making your home energy efficient is one of the best things that you can do for the environment as well as your wallet. One of the first steps in making your home energy efficient is sealing any holes or cracks. This is a huge part of creating an energy efficient dwelling since there are so many places where warm air can escape and cold air can get in.
It’s also the basis for making your other energy saving attempts work their best. You need to look for cracks and other openings both inside and outside your home.
Leave no space unattended, this means the spaces around the doors and windows as well as the floors and ceilings. Properly sealing your home can save up to 10 percent on you total annual energy bill. And, who wouldn’t want to save that much?
Start by looking or feeling around the house for leaks. Anywhere that is noticeably colder or where you can feel a draft needs to be sealed. Caulking, sealing with sprayfoam and using weather stripping are a few simple and inexpensive ways to stop drafts.
After you’ve finished sealing any leaks, you need to make sure that your home is well insulated. A well insulated home stays cool and comfortable in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter. Different R-values which indicate insulation’s ability to resist heat flow are recommended for different areas of the home.
For example, it’s usually recommended that R-38 is used in the attic. This means that the insulation is around 12-15 inches thick. The attic is also the easiest place to start since you won’t have to tear anything up. Just lying insulation in the floor rafters is sufficient. The attic is also the place where the most energy is wasted and where you’ll cut down on your energy bill the most.
Another great way to make you home more energy efficient is to seal your ducts properly. Ducts are installed in homes with forced air heating and up to 20 percent of air moving through the ducts can be lost due to badly sealed connections.
Heating and cooling effectively is another way to make your home more energy efficient. Half of the energy used in your home may go toward heating and cooling, so this is definitely something to pay attention to.
A simple way to cut down on costs and make your home more efficient is to keep up on air filter maintenance.
Changing an air filter each time it gets dirty will save a lot of energy because the effectiveness of your home’s system is impeded by old filters.
Maintaining a clean filter will allow your system to function properly and will extend its life.
Another step you can take to save energy and money is to install a programmable thermostat. Using it according to the instructions can save you up to $180 every year. Follow these simple steps and you’ll end up saving a good deal of energy as well as money.
About the Author: E. Fortie writes for the Residentialsolarpanels.org solar blog. It’s a free blog he uses to share info about solar leasing and other ways to cut energy prices.