An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Over time, those savings will typically pay for the cost of improvements. You home may also be more attractive to buyers when you sell.
A home energy assessment will show what parts of your house use the most energy and suggest the best ways to cut energy costs. You can conduct a simple home energy assessment by doing it yourself or for a more detailed assessment, you may contact your local utility or an energy auditor.
1. Air leaks and insulation
Improving your home’s insulation and sealing air leaks are the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste and make the most of the energy dollars.
2. Heating and cooling
Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home. You can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. Furthermore, by combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, savings are even larger.
3. Water Heating
Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new and more efficient model.
4. Windows and doors
In the winter, windows provide heat from the sun but also account for around 20% of your heating bill by letting heat out. During the summer, your air conditioner must work harder to cool hot air from sunny windows. Replacing existing windows with energy-efficient windows should be considered as the first option. Sealing all windows edges and cracks is the cheapest and simplest option. For doors, apply weather stripping around the whole perimeter to ensure a tight seal when they are closed.
Switching to energy-efficient lighting (LED bulbs) is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Timers and motion sensors save you even more money by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.
Appliances account for about 13% of your household’s energy costs, with refrigeration, cooking and laundry at the top of the list. When you shop for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR® label which usually exceeds minimum federal standards.