An Energy Efficient Home Is a Happy One
Did you know that making your home energy efficient increases its value? According to one study, making no cost or low cost changes can boost your home’s value $18,000. Why not implement some of the following suggestions to make your home more energy efficient?
1. Lower the thermostat on your water heater. If your hot tap water is too hot to touch, lower the temperature a few degrees.
2. Check for air leaking around doors. A lot of the air you pay to heat or cool escapes through unsealed doors. Install or replace worn weather stripping. Replace broken or missing storm doors.
3. Close the air vents in rooms not in use. For example, close the vents and shut the door to an unused guest room.
4. Keep heat producers far from your thermostat in summer. Floor lamps and televisions can significantly raise the temperature in the area near a thermostat, turning on your air conditioner too often.
5. Clean your furnace and air conditioner filters. Replace existing dirty air conditioner or furnace filters. During heavy use periods, replacement is recommended every 30 days.
6. Operate large appliances during low-use periods in summer. Use your washer and dryer and other heat-producers early in the morning or late at night. Use the air-dry method on your dishwasher to save energy.
7. Request an energy audit. Contact your local utility company to request a free energy audit. Most electric and gas companies will check for proper insulation, find cracks in the eaves or roof that could leak energy, and make recommendations for improvements. Some electric companies offer low-cost financing for such improvements.
8. Replace existing insulation. A proper barrier keeps heat and cold from penetrating your home’s exterior and provides for even temperatures between rooms. The EPA recently reported that proper ceiling insulation may reduce electric bills 20%. Added insulation in the attic has a very high return on investment.
9. Replace existing appliances. If money is no object, replace old appliances with Energy Star appliances, specifically created to optimize energy consumption. If your budget limits you to replacing one appliance, buy a new refrigerator; a new model could knock off 25% of your electric bill.
10. Buy new light bulbs. Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent.
11. Contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding EEM Mortgages. EEMs provide benefits to borrowers purchasing a home that is energy efficient, or can be made efficient with improvements.