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Is Your Home As Energy Efficient As It Could Be?

Posted 02-13-12 in Air Conditioning, Heating

Increase Your Home's EfficiencyAccording to a recent study, Americans spend about 21% of their annual after-tax income on energy. And prices are only predicted to increase. You can save money and reduce your carbon footprint by maximizing your home’s energy efficiency.

Plug Air Leaks

Don’t let your heated and cooled air escape! By checking for and eliminating drafts and air leaks in your home you may be able to save up to 30% a year on your energy bills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Look for gaps around wires and vents or cracks in the stucco or siding on the outside of your house. On the inside, check for openings along the baseboards, at the juncture where the walls meet the ceiling and around windows and doors. Concentrate on fixing the largest leaks first for the biggest return.

Places to look for air leaks:

  • Windows and doors
  • Cable TV and phone lines
  • Dryer vents
  • Electrical outlets
  • Baseboards
  • Window frames
  • Mail chutes
  • Vents and Fans
  • Between chimney and siding
  • Exterior corners

A home with significant air leakage makes your heater and air conditioner are working overtime to keep your home comfortable, increasing your energy consumption and costing you money. By fixing the air leaks, your home will be more comfortable and your HVAC system will not run as often, saving you money.

Service Your Heating & Cooling Units

To keep your unit running efficiently throughout its lifespan, you should have a professional inspect your heating and cooling equipment at least twice annually. You can sign up for a maintenance plan and save money on your tune-ups. Have your heater inspected each fall and your cooling equipment in the spring.

Change or check your air filters at least once a month. A dirty air filter can cause a strain on your heating and cooling equipment. For optimum efficiency you may want to also consider getting your air ducts resealed or replacing your current heating system for a more efficient one.

Increase Your Home’s Insulation

Insufficient insulation is another common cause of heat and energy loss in homes. The amount of insulation builders put in new homes has increased over the years in an effort to help efficiency. This means the older your home, the more likely you could benefit from additional insulation. In most circumstances, at least 10-15 inches of insulation is recommended in the attic.

Things to check in the attic:

  • Vapor barrier
  • Attic vents are not blocked
  • Openings for chimney and ductwork are sealed
  • Adequate insulation

Upgrade Your Lighting

The lighting in your home accounts for roughly 10% of your monthly electric bill. Take a look around your house and check the wattage of the bulbs you use. Could you replace a higher-wattage bulb with a lower one? Have you taken advantage of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s)? CFL’s not only consume less energy, they also have a longer lifespan than ordinary light bulbs.

You can’t control energy prices, but you can easily decrease your energy consumption with these tips.

Contact Coolray for more information on we may be able to help you save money on energy costs.

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