5 Tips for Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
You probably think about saving energy and the environment on a regular basis, but do you think about how your home can save you money? Modern homes use a lot of energy to power appliances and heat / cool spaces, which means they cost a lot to maintain. It might seem hard to imagine that you can cut your energy costs while also creating a more comfortable living environment, but it is possible. By utilizing the tips provided below, there are multiple quick and easy steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency – and your family’s comfort.
Invest in An Energy Audit
When you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your home, one of the best things you can do is get an energy audit. By hiring a professional, you can find out just how much money you are wasting each month. You can get an idea of where your energy is going, and what you could do to reduce it.
It’s easy to think that a home’s energy consumption is someone else’s responsibility. But unless you are already living in a home that is so efficient that you don’t notice the cost of utilities, there’s probably room for improvement.
The first step to saving money and reducing your carbon footprint is to have an energy audit done on your home. This will help point out where you can reduce your usage and increase the efficiency of your home. You may be surprised to find how many areas of your house have large problems with air leakage.
Energy audits typically take 2-3 hours to complete and provide an estimate of the cost savings associated with each improvement opportunity listed in the report. The auditor will also make recommendations on how to implement the improvements and will custom tailor programs and financing options based on your specific needs.
Install CFL’s in Every Light Socket
Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs. While CFLs cost more up front, they use less energy so you will ultimately save on your utility bill. CFLs also last much longer than incandescent bulbs—an average of 10 times as long! CFLs typically pay for themselves in under one year. In addition, they produce less heat than incandescent bulbs which makes them safer around children and pets.
CFL’s are compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, which are more energy efficient. CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 10 times longer. Many CFL bulbs also emit the white light that is closer to natural daylight and can reduce eyestrain while you are using them.
Upgrade Your Home’s Insulation
Your home’s insulation isn’t just something that keeps your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer: it also plays a huge role in your home’s overall energy efficiency. A properly insulated home can save you hundreds of dollars every year on energy costs, but an improperly insulated home can lead to higher bills and even more problems down the road.
If you want to improve your home’s insulation, here are some tips:
- Check around for air leaks. Air leaks in your home can account for up to 30% of your total energy use, so finding them and fixing them is a great place to start. Look around for cracks and other gaps around windows, doors, pipes, vents, etc., and seal them with caulk or weatherstripping where possible. Replace any drafty old windows with newer models that help keep air sealed in better.
- Get rid of drafts from walls and ceilings. Drafty walls or ceilings can have a big effect on how warm or cool your home feels, especially if you have poor insulation or no insulation at all in those spots. Check for gaps between the drywall or other surface materials and the framing beneath it; spiderwebs are a great sign of these gaps!
- Consider replacing your roof. Faulty roof might with worn insulation can also cause inefficient energy use in your house.
If you’re not sure how to find a roofing contractor in Winnipeg, check manitobaroofers.com.
Reduce Drafts from Windows and Doors
Reducing drafts from windows and doors is an easy way to reduce heating and cooling bills. The simplest solution is to add storm windows, especially over the winter months. However, in some cases, this may not be possible or practical.
It would be too expensive for example, if you have a large picture window or several windows on a large wall. A temporary solution would be to hang curtains or drapes that can be closed when the weather turns cold or rain sets in. An alternative is to buy “shower door” type plastic films that can be hung on a window or door and still allow it to be opened and closed as needed.
These films are very thin and don’t alter the appearance of your windows much, but they can make a big difference in reducing heat loss from your home. Contact your local hardware store for advice if you need help with this project.
Seal Leaks Around Doors, Windows, roof and Pipes
Sealing leaks and cracks around doors, windows and pipes is the most effective, easiest and least expensive way to save energy at home.
Mathematically speaking, sealing just one hole equal to the size of a playing card in your home’s envelope can save more than $100 per year. That’s enough savings to pay for the caulk required to seal that hole six times over.
The best time to take preventative steps against drafts is now, while it’s still cold outside. You can’t tell if there are drafts in your home until you see how much heat is escaping through cracks and openings. You can measure this with a thermometer or an infra-red thermal camera, but it’s also easy to just feel the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures at these locations.
If your roof is leaking, maybe it’s time to replace it. With manitobaroofers.com, finding a roofing companies in Winnipeg is simple and easy.
I hope we have helped you discover new ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. As you work on these five tips, monitor your progress and see which improvements make the most impact. If you change one thing at a time, it should be easier to determine what changes are having a positive effect and which are not. Remember, the power is in your hands to create a more sustainable world.