If you start to notice that your home is unbearably hot or cold, you may have an insulation problem. Other red flags include high electric bills, cold walls, drafty rooms, and mold growth. Having the right amount of insulation in your home can save you money, reduce your energy costs, and make your house more comfortable and efficient. You can contact your electric company to have an energy evaluation done on your home. If you choose not to take advantage of this service, there are many do-it-yourself steps you can take to make your home more efficient.
- Reduce air leakage
Weather-proofing your home can save you up to 40 percent in heating costs. You should check all doors and windows for drafts. Use caulking and weather strips to seal any leaks you find. Also, be sure to check any floorboards, baseboards, and electrical outlets for leaks as well.
- Add Insulation
Adding insulation to basements, laundry rooms, attics, and around furnaces, can cut your energy loss by 25 percent. If you see gaps in the current insulation, be sure to fill them in. You should pay particular attention to the areas around heating ducts, light fixtures, fans, and dryer vents. Take a walk around the outside of your house. If you notice any holes where you have wiring, cables, or pipes entering your house, you need to plug them.
- Replace your heating system
While the upfront cost of replacing a heating system may be high, it will save you money over time by lowering heating costs. Newer heating systems are simply much more energy efficient. You should take the added protection of insulating any ducts that are under your house. You should be sure to change your filters at least once a month. It is also a good idea to replace an older thermostat with a newer, programmable one. If you have a chimney in your home, get it inspected regularly by a professional. Ask if there are ways to reduce the amount of heat lost when it is not in use.
- Protect your water heater
Your water heater is a major source of energy use in your home. If you have an electric water heater, inefficient use of water can have a big impact on your wallet. Apply pipe insulation to the hot and cold water lines running to your heater. Only run the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load. Instead of using the heated dry setting on your dishwasher, open the door and let them air dry. Use cold water to wash your laundry where possible. Have any leaking toilets or faucets repaired. Install energy-saving appliances in your home.
Everyone wants to conserve energy. Taking these steps will help reduce your consumption and increase your savings.