04 Jan 18 Energy Efficient Tips for Your 2018!
At GreenHomes America our passion is to truly improve homes across America. We strive to help homeowners understand the proper steps to successfully accomplish their home improvement projects. GHA preaches the benefits of a home energy audit because the results shine a light on the fundamental energy issues in your home. As a result, homeowners implement improvements and leverage energy efficient tips that increase your home comfort and reduce energy costs.
An energy audit provides tangible results that have an immediate impact on your home and finances. For example, a home audit reviews your entire home and prioritizes improvements, which increase your home’s efficiency. In general, audits focus on the following areas of your home:
- Home appliances.
- Insulation and air sealing.
- Windows, doors, and skylights.
- Lighting and daylighting.
- Space heating and cooling.
- Water heating.
Energy efficient tips help homeowners do more with less. Plus, an efficient home often improves your home’s comfort. For example, an audit shows the ROI that insulation yields vs new windows.
Energy Efficiency Starts With A Home Audit
First and foremost, energy audits provide the best starting place for increasing your home’s energy efficiency. However, remember that energy audits, by themselves, do not save energy or improve comfort. Energy audits provide a blueprint that enables your energy improvement goals. Only when homeowners actually implement the recommended energy improvement measures will homes use less energy and feel more comfortable. Energy audit recommendations:
- Increase insulation levels in your home that save on heating costs and increase your home comfort.
- Stop air leaks around walls, ceilings, windows, doors, lighting fixtures, light switches and electrical outlets.
- Enable utility savings through the installation of high-efficiency heating/cooling systems.
Quality energy audits provide homeowners detailed information and clear recommendations about resolving existing problems. Generally, the home energy audit process provides a prioritized list of recommendations that lower utility bills.
For example, if a home has very cold or hot rooms, the energy audit details specific actions that reduce temperature swings.
Plus, home energy audits identify any health and safety concerns. Frequently audits identify issues with things such as moisture issues, mold, asbestos or carbon monoxide levels. During the energy audit, these concerns are routinely uncovered in attics, crawl spaces, basements or bathrooms.
During the energy audit process, homeowners should inform the auditor about their specific problems. Then the auditor can provide prioritized recommendations to resolve those problems. A quality auditor will even provide a cost benefit analysis and provide information on local incentive programs from your utility company!
18 Energy Efficiency Tips for 2018!
We all struggle with maintaining our New Year resolutions. As a result, identify a few energy efficiency tips that integrate with your lifestyle. These tips help improve your home comfort and reduce your energy costs at any point during the year. However, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll receive the benefits!
Manage Home Temperatures
Technology provides simple energy saving options, such as installing a programmable thermostat, manages your indoor temperatures. For example, manage your home temperatures while the family is away for the day. Keeping the standard heat or A/C temperature settings provides home comfort for nobody. Additionally, managing temperatures reduces utility bill and wasted energy.
Proper insulation, not only cuts down on excess noise, but more importantly permits better temperature control while saving up to 20% on your energy bill.
Seal Air Leaks
Leaks in your home allow cold air outside in wintertime to sneak in. Look for areas in your home that are most often the culprits of leaks, such as electrical outlets, doors and windows, baseboards, caulking, vents, weather-stripping, attic doors, and fireplace dampers. Run your hand over these areas. If you feel the cool air, you may want to re-caulk or seal those places in your home that are allowing the outside air in. You can check for leaks by either visually looking for cracked caulking or feeling the cold air entering your home. Or, air leaks in your home can be found by hiring a professional contractor to perform a blower door de-pressurization test. This blower door test depressurizes your home and uses an infrared camera or smoke stick to identify hard to find leaks in your home.
Cover Drafty Windows
If you have updated your insulation, sealed the air leaks, and are still cold in your house in the winter, the windows might be the problem. Keep the heat inside (and cold outside) your home by covering your windows with heavy plastic.
Change Air Filters
Air filters remain a key component of a functioning HVAC system. Air from inside the home is pulled in through the air filter and then supplied to the rest of the home through the HVAC system. The air filter prevents dirt, dust, and other particles from entering your system and moving to other areas of the home. So, if the filter is dirty or clogged, it reduces airflow and makes the system work harder to keep you warm or cool.
Replace Light Bulbs
Energy efficient light bulbs, such as CFLs and LEDs are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs because they use less energy. Use LED light bulbs predominantly throughout your home.
Reduce Energy Sucking Devices
Vampires are a big part of today’s entertainment industry, but don’t let them suck any additional energy from your home. Energy sucking devices (or appliances and electronics that use energy even when they are off) are called vampire devices. Eliminate the use of vampire devices from your home where possible.
Constant Minor Adjustments
The little things matter. In particular, minor adjustments make huge improvements over time. For example, here some small actions which help lower your utility bill.
- Turning the temperature of your home down slightly at night during the winter saves on heating energy.
- Wear warmer clothes in the winter instead of turning the home’s thermostat up.
- Close and lock all windows during the winter. The weather-stripping on windows works better when the windows are closed tight.
Inspect and Improve Inefficient HVAC Systems
Improving the overall efficiency of your home’s insulation and air tightness level reduces the electric use of your furnace distribution fan and lowers your electric bill. Similarly, improving the overall efficiency of your home’s insulation and air tightness level reduces the electric use of your home’s cooling system. High-efficiency HVAC systems save electricity.
Reduce Hot Water Consumption
Reducing and conserving hot water consumption where possible with electric water heaters helps lower your monthly electric bill.
Stop Using Space Heaters
Electric space heaters and heating blankets use more energy than most people think and should only be used sparingly. A better idea is to find the underlying reasons for your home’s comfort problems by having an energy audit done on your home. You will learn that improving the overall efficiency of your home’s insulation and air tightness level will help make your home more comfortable.
Install and use ENERGY Star labeled appliances including refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, dehumidifiers and air purifiers. Plus, stop using old refrigerators and/or freezers in the basement or garage. They are extremely inefficient and cost much more to use than newer models.
Reduce Reliance on Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers that run continuously increase electric bills. Do not run dehumidifiers unless the conditions in the home require it. For more on reducing your reliance on dehumidifiers, ask your local GHA Network Quality Contractor.
Minimize Heat Pump Temperatures
If homeowners don’t have a thermostat designed for use with heat pumps, do not use a night setback of more than 2 degrees until the proper thermostat can be installed.
Avoid Excessive Use of Well Pumps
Particularly, in the summer and applicable to homeowners with well water, avoid over-watering lawns. Constantly using well pumps significantly impacts electric bills.
Watch Out for Pool and Spa Costs
For those homeowners with a pool or spa, watch out for your overall energy costs. Swimming pool pumps often run continuously during the summer months. The pool pumps, running at full speed, can be expensive to operate. Variable speed pumps or smart controllers save significant amounts of energy for homes with pools or spas. Plus, for homeowners with hot tubs, insulated covers combined with managing the hours of operation for the electric heaters and pumps helps save large amounts of electricity.
Simply turn off lights when they are not in use. You’ll be surprised how much electricity is wasted because a light or device was unintentionally left on.
Work with Quality Technicians
Find a qualified HVAC technician to inspect your HVAC system. Quality HVAC techs ensure homes remain leak-free and operate efficiently. Also, professional techs provide simple training sessions. As a result, you know how to clean air filters because this is essential to keeping your HVAC system running smoothly during the year.
Why Work with GreenHomes America?
Simply put, GHA remains the most trusted source of unbiased energy efficiency information. Homeowners turn to us when improving or upgrading their home. The information improves the livability of homes. Plus, we remain a nationally recognized as being technically accurate, impartial and straightforward.
GreenHomes proudly promotes improving homes the right way. As a result, tens of thousands of homes across America now save homeowners thousands of dollars in utility costs each year.
Whether you want or need window upgrades in your home, furnace replacement or additional insulation, homeowners trust GreenHomes America. We help improve the comfort, livability, air quality, safety, durability and energy efficiency of homes.