People often complain about high utility bills. But with just a few home improvements you can save a great deal of money and energy. Here are the top 10 energy-saving tips for your home and wallet.
1. Seal your ducts
When it comes to forced-air cooling and heating systems, ducts have the job of transmitting cold or hot air to various areas of your home. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that nearly 20% of the air is wasted through leaks. This problem can be easily addressed by repairing leaks with duct sealant.
2. Insulate your upstairs
Adding insulation upstairs can steady the temperature of your home throughout the year. The Alliance to Save Energy’s president claims that nearly half of all the homes in the U.S. are under-insulated. This problem is easily corrected by insulating the areas that need it.
3. Call an energy professional for an audit
It’s hard to know where to save money and energy if you don’t know what needs improvement. An expert energy professional will help you figure out which areas of your home can be improved. An energy audit is a superb way for homeowners to determine which areas of their home need attention so they can take the measures to address them.
4. Install a thermostat you can program
A programmable thermostat is a great way to conserve energy. It can save as much as 10% on your cooling and heating bills and pay for itself in a matter of months. You can program it to adjust the temperature at night while you sleep, while you’re on vacation, or when you’re at work.
5. Install storm windows
Storm windows are less expensive than an entire set of new windows. Essentially, they are a cost-saving alternative. However, if your existing windows are in fairly good shape, adding new storm windows is a fast way to boost the overall energy efficiency of your home without breaking the bank. You won’t have to deal with the mess of a huge window renovation.
6. Install eco-friendly doors
If you want to change your door to a more energy-efficient model, avoid buying the hollow metal type. They’re awful for saving energy since air easily filters through them. Check with your local contractor or home improvement store on which doors have the best energy-efficient ratings.
7. Use a high-efficiency water heater
High-efficiency water heaters are great for lowering expenses. The cost to heat water is anywhere between 15 and 25% of your overall annual energy usage. Switching to a more high-efficiency model will save a great deal of money over time.
8. Seal your leaks
Sealing leaks that allow cold air to seep in is one of the most important steps in creating an energy-saving home. When heat leaks out, it’s like throwing money out the window. Such leaks are typically found at doors and windows. But you can find them in the attic or basement as well.
9. Upgrade to energy-efficient windows
Replace your old leaky windows with energy-efficient ones. Contractors generally recommend wood.
10. Replace old heating and cooling systems
Consider replacing your old HVAC system with a more modern energy-saving model that will greatly reduce your energy bills. Before you do, make sure your home is well insulated and properly sealed.
Each of these home improvement steps will save you hundreds of dollars while boosting the overall value of your home.