If you are a new homeowner, congratulations! After a thorough search, you finally found a house that your family can make a home. Since you forked out big bucks for the home of your dreams, it is time to transform your investment into a money saver. To make your home more energy efficient, a few adjustments here and a modification there will have you on your way to a cozy winter that won’t leave you speechless when the utility bill arrives.
1. Protect Against Drafts
Drafts are pesky little scoundrels. As stated by the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30 percent of your energy use is wasted by drafts. As the cold air creeps in, the warm air escapes along with your hard-earned dollars. Undiscovered drafts left to their own devices will leave you cold and your wallet empty. To correct breezy cracks and crevices, use caulk and weather stripping. With a lit candle, survey your windows and doors by passing the candle around their perimeters. When the flame flickers, you found your culprit. Caulk that baby up, and move on to the next perpetrator. At this point, feel free to let out a triumphant chuckle as you defeat the drafty thieves.
via BGE Home
2. Insulate Your Attic
Since heat rises, outfitting your attic with the proper insulation is key. According to Energy Star, the amount of air lost through gaps, leaks, and holes in a typical home is equal to having a window open every day. With this in mind, insulating your attic and similar areas is money in your pocket. When choosing a certain type, keep in mind that it can be different from your attic’s current insulation. Fiberglass rolls, spray foam and loose-fill varieties can be used in conjunction with one another. In addition to saving energy, insulation aids in humidity control cuts down on invading pests and reduces noise levels. Not only will you see monthly savings, but you may even score valuable tax credits when that time of year rolls around.
3. Insulate Pipes
Similar to your need for extra layers in chilly weather, water pipes can benefit from additional protection to trap in their heat and prevent them from freezing. With padded pipes, you can conserve energy by lowering your water heater’s temperature without sacrificing steamy showers. Fortunately, pre-cut pipe foam is available at most hardware stores, so this energy-saving improvement is quick and easy. If you purchase your pipes some new duds, they will return the favor by not freezing, bursting and costing you thousands of dollars.
4. Change Your Furnace Filter
Since your home’s furnace is out of sight, it is generally out of mind. While it may not seem like a big deal, a clean filter keeps your system running smoothly while using less energy. During peak heating months, you should change disposable filters every four to six weeks. If you have a washable filter, they perform best when cleaned every two weeks. While filter locations vary per manufacturer, you can generally find them along the return duct on a ceiling, wall or the actual furnace.
For more energy efficiency and other home inspiration, check out our friends at Modernize.com!