Making Your Home Energy Efficient

Energy efficient

Making your home energy efficient can be done at a low cost with some simple DIY methods.

You would think that it’s an expensive process to improve your home’s energy efficiency, but it doesn’t have to be. A full home renovation isn’t necessary to save some money in the long run. There are other simpler ways to become energy efficient. If you’re willing to change some of your habits and use some DIY methods you can create a more comfortable environment in your home and save yourself some money.

Here are some things you can do to make your home energy efficient:

Avoid heat loss from your water heater
If you own an electric hot water heater it is best to keep it wrapped in an insulating blanket to keep the heat in the system and improve its efficiency. Often times the heat it creates can escape the system and is thus wasted energy. Tankless water heaters are the most energy efficient amongst the different types of hot water tanks. Tankless heaters heat water on demand as it is being used so it does not waste any energy on heating water when it isn’t necessary.

Maintaining your furnace
Old furnaces are often inefficient machines which get worse and worse over time if left unmaintained. If you have a new high efficiency furnace it wastes as little energy as possible when heating your home. Although this is the case, it’s still important to maintain your high efficiency furnace so that it continues performing efficiently for years to come. There are two things you can do to maintain your furnace and keep it energy efficient. Make sure to change your furnace’s air filter every 3 months to improve airflow and keep your furnace unit in great condition. Having an annual service performed on your furnace by an HVAC professional is another step you should take to maintain your furnace.

Booking a service appointment with an HVAC technician is easy and they’ll be able to fix any existing problems with your system and clean its inner workings.

Seal door and windows
Heat can leak out of doors and windows the same way it does through ductwork. To see which windows and doors have a draft in your home, light an incense stick and hold it by a window frame or door frame. If you see it flicker that indicates a draft. Fixing a draft can be done by replacing/installing weatherstripping, applying caulking to the frames, and installing a door sweep.

Prevent heat leakage in ductwork
The ductwork in your home might have gaps in between its joints which allow for unwanted heat loss. The heat you want to enter into the usable parts of your home may end up in your unused basement or is unevenly dispersed. Ductwork can be sealed using heating-vent tape by applying it to every join in the ductwork.

Use a ceiling fan
Ceiling fans can be used to cool a single room, but not your whole house. In the winter time, put the ceiling fan on the reverse setting which pushes the hot air downwards. A ceiling fan works great in both the summer and winter season to create a comfortable environment in your home.

Don’t forget to unplug chargers
Chargers use power even when there’s no device plugged into them. When your device is fully charged, unplug the charger from the power outlet so it doesn’t continue using energy.

Clean your large appliances
The dryer’s exhaust and the refrigerator’s back vent often get clogged which make the machines work harder than they need to. Vacuuming these parts of the machines should be done at least twice a year to keep them working efficiently.

Avoid using large appliances during peak hours
Your home’s dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer account for a sizable chunk of your home’s energy usage. If you adjust your schedule so that you use these appliances during off-peak hours you can save energy and money. Off-peak hours are when the cost of energy is the lowest and this time is after 7PM on weekdays and at any time on weekends.

Dry clothing on a clothesline
In the summer months of the year you can let your clothes dry outdoors in the sun or on a clothesline indoors during the winter months. Using these methods and avoiding the use of your dryer can save you ~6% of your total energy usage.

Use power bars to avoid unnecessary energy usage
Your electronic appliances suck up energy during the nighttime while they aren’t being used. Most of these appliances can be plugged into a power bar which can be programmed to turn off in the nighttime. Even if an appliance is turned off it still uses some energy if it’s plugged into a power outlet. You can plug many devices into a single power bar and turn it off when you’re getting ready to go to bed.

Use smart appliances/devices
New technology can be used to our advantage by helping us to increase comfort in our home and be energy efficient. A smart thermostat can reduce your heating and cooling costs by as much as 15%. Smart thermostats learn your routine usage and schedule and use this information to adjust the temperature automatically. These devices can be controlled via an app on your phone so you can adjust the temperature anywhere at any time.
There are many other types of smart devices out there, like those for lighting. You can buy dimmers or lights which sense motion and turn off when nobody is in the room.

Hire an energy auditor
Professional energy auditors are trained on how to determine where energy is being wasted and whether or not it is being used efficiently. If you’ve exhausted the list of things you can do yourself and still have worries about your energy consumption, hire an auditor that can make your home as energy efficient as possible. Hiring an energy auditor can be seen as an investment as their work can save you money in the long term by helping you save both energy and money.

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