Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient by Checking Windows and Doors
No matter the time of year, you may struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature. Gaps and cracks around window and door frames are responsible for energy loss.
Installing new windows is pricey, but will pay for itself over time. If you can’t replace all windows, focus on damaged windows or highly-trafficked rooms, like the living rooms, bedrooms, and the kitchen.
Invest in Insulated Curtains
Insulated curtains will help keep your home energy-efficient by adding an extra layer to hold cool air in the summer while preventing warm air from escaping in the winter.
Trees Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
Shade trees are a great way to reduce energy costs by blocking the sun’s heat from exterior walls, which in turn will keep the AC from running as often. In the winter, these trees will lose their foliage, which will let the sun’s rays through, warming the home. Naturally, it’s difficult to rely on this option if you don’t already have mature trees planted in strategic locations. By planting trees now, you can look to this as a cost-saving measure in the future. Hybrid poplars, weeping willows, and many varieties of maple are all considered fast-growing trees. Plant trees to shade western walls for the best effect. It might take a few years for the trees to grow big enough to make a difference, but it will be worth it long-term.
Use Appliances Wisely
If you are looking at upgrading appliances, choose ones with an Energy Star rating, as these will be the most efficient models in their class. Beyond that, you can save money simply by using your appliances and HVAC at off-peak times of the day. Find out from your utility company if they offer reduced rates for operating your home’s energy-draining appliances at night and on weekends. Some people put in a load of laundry at bedtime and then hang it to dry in the morning. By evening, the laundry will likely only need a quick fluff in the dryer.
Service Your HVAC System to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Heating and cooling is your biggest energy cost, so make sure it’s efficient. A programmable thermostat is a must, as this will enable you to use automation to keep the temperature at the desired level. Keep air intake filters clean, replacing them every six months or more often, if needed. If you are replacing an older system, evaluate with your installer whether the original placement of the unit is still considering fences or shrubs that may be obstructing ventilation.
TVs and Desktop Computers
Televisions and computers use power unnecessarily when they’re not in use. Energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs and fans use less electricity whereas ovens, hairdryers, space heaters, and toasters use a fair amount. A good rule of thumb: always switch off what you don’t need.