Making your home more efficient saves electricity and will lower your power bill. Reducing how much power you use has a positive impact on emissions and greenhouse gases. When you increase energy efficiency at home, you will benefit from your efforts for years to come. Here are five ways to make your home more energy-efficient.
1. Seal Gaps to Increase Energy Efficiency at Home
Before cold weather hits, inspect your window seals and doorways. Any drafts through these tiny spaces will affect your power bill. Re-caulk brittle or breaking sealant around the windows.
Check the door frames, and make sure there is a layer of weatherstripping. The door should sit reasonably tight in the jam. If you can see daylight around the door, apply weatherstripping. These projects make your home more energy-efficient and are things that a handy DIYer can tackle.
2. Check the Attic
Your attic is important when it comes to regulating the temperature of your home. Check the attic and note the depth of the insulation. A common rule of thumb is if the batting has settled below the beams, it is time to add more.
There are two common types of attic insulation. Batting is rolled out in long strips between the joists, and the blown-in variety is pushed into the attic with a special machine. If you choose to install insulation yourself, wear proper clothing, gloves, eye protection, and a breathing mask. Insulation is irritating to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, and should be handled with care.
3. Install a Smart Thermostat
To make your home more energy-efficient, use smart technology. A smart thermostat lets you set your indoor temperature from your smartphone. With this advantage, you have more control over your power bill. A smart thermometer can be set so the HVAC system does not run when no one is there but powers on again before you come home so the house is comfortable.
Moving your thermostat up or down a few degrees will save you money over the long run, and your family won’t notice the temperature is off by a degree or two. Every degree difference can affect your power bill by 2 to 3%.
4. Regular Maintenance will Increase Energy Efficiency at Home
Maintaining your heating and cooling unit makes your home more efficient and extends the life of the system. Because these are costly appliances, it is a good idea to schedule the maintenance as often as the manufacturer recommends.
Most units have a filter that needs to be replaced at specific intervals. Change the filter to keep the system operating effectively and to help improve indoor air quality. Also, examine the exterior components of your HVAC system to make sure the area is free of branches and debris.
5. Use Shade to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient
There are a variety of ways you can create shade and make your home more energy efficient in the summertime. Install heavy curtains inside that block UV rays and/or add shutters on the outside of the windows for protection from the sun.
If you do not like the look of shutters, have awnings installed over the sunny windows. Awnings are available in retractable styles that roll up tightly against the house. This comes in handy in the winter months when the sunlight can help warm your living spaces.
PRIME Home Inspections offers home inspection services in western Washington state. Contact us to request an appointment.