How Energy Efficient Is Your Home?

The average person spends $3,460 on energy every year, and as much as half of that energy is used to heat and cool our homes. From heat pumps to air conditioners to furnaces, these tips will make your home’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems more efficient, not to mention helping you save on your utility bills. You can start the following tips today. Are you ready? It’s time to start saving energy.

Install a Modern Heat Pump

Heat pumps warm and cool your home, and are an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Your location and climate will determine the type of pump most appropriate for your home. The types of heat pumps include air-to-air, water source and geothermal. They collect heat from the air, water or ground outside your home and move it inside. They can also act as an air conditioner by collecting heat from inside your house and pumping it outside. Heat pumps can cost as little as one-quarter of the price of other heating and cooling appliances. Tip: Install a programmable thermostat suitable for heat pumps with multistage functions.

Seal Your Air Ducts

Air that leaks out of your home through windows, doors and the outer walls is a waste of energy, not to mention your money. In the average home, there is enough air leakage to add up to a 2-foot square hole—that’s equivalent to leaving a medium-sized window open all day long. Sealing and insulating the ducts that move air to and from furnaces, air conditioners or heat pumps will improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Start with the ducts that run through the attic, basement, garage or any crawl space. Tip: Dirty spots on your ceiling paint or carpet could signify air leaks.

Add Insulation

After sealing the ducts, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting too hot or cold. From there, you can seal the rest of the ducts throughout the other parts of the house. You may also want to look into adding insulation if your attic is drafty, the basement has a cold floor or you’ve noticed an increase in heating or cooling bills. Try blown-in foam insulation, as it is more cost-effective and results in minimal structural intrusion. Tip: Install door sweeps at the bottom of your front and back doors to keep heat from escaping.

Monitor Your Hot Water Heater

Your water heater could be costing you up to 18% of your current utility bill. Insulate your water heater or choose an on-demand hot water heater to save money and energy. Other ways you can cut down on your water heating bills include turning down the thermostat on your water heater or simply using less hot water. Tip: Every 3 months, drain a quart of water from the heater to remove sediment that could interfere with heat transfer and lower the efficiency of the heater.

More Energy Tips

Check your air filter every month. A dirty air filter wastes energy by slowing down air flow, making the system work even harder to keep you warm or cool. Does your house need some help during the sweltering summer months? Plant a tree, as this will not only add a little something extra to your landscaping, but it will also provide shade for your home on hot days. On those cold winter days, pull back your curtains to let the sun in.

These tips are a do-it-yourself energy assessment that takes into consideration your whole house. By using a heat pump, checking ducts and insulation as well as doing simple things like planting a tree or changing air filters, you will save energy and money. Pretty soon you’ll see that the time and effort you took in saving energy will pay off.

Call us today to see how we can help you save money by making your home more energy efficient!

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