1. Start with an energy audit. During an energy audit, a qualified professional will come to your home and help you figure out where you may be wasting energy. Many local power companies offer energy audits to their customers for free or for a minimal charge.
Even if your power company doesn’t offer such a service, it’s worth it to pay a qualified contractor for an in-depth energy audit. The money you’ll save in the long run by pinpointing and fixing energy issues now will outweigh the cost of an audit.
2. Grab some caulk and expanding foam. Electricians say that air leaks can account for 15 to 35 percent of the overall energy used to heat and cool the average home. What?! Unless you live in a very old home, it’s likely your leaks aren’t coming from a lack of wall insulation. Instead, you’re probably experiencing air leaks from a variety of minuscule holes.
Luckily, you can seal most leaks yourself using caulk and expanding foam, which are inexpensive and easy to use on your own. Anywhere there’s a hole in your wall or ceiling – around air vents, electrical outlets, switches, windows, doors, etc. – there’s likely to be some air leakage.
3. Close vents and shut doors. This is probably the simplest but most often-missed step: Shut off rooms you aren’t using! If you rarely spend time in your formal dining room or guest bedroom, for instance, shut the vents in those rooms, and keep the doors shut. This keeps the heated air concentrated in spaces your family actually uses, which saves you money automatically.
4. Change your furnace filter. It takes more energy to blast air through a dirty furnace filter. You may need to change your filter as often as once a month, especially if you have pet hair and other things in your home. The effects will be better heating in the winter and air conditioning in summer; along with saving money on your utility bills and extending the life of your furnace.
5. Update your appliances. Buying new appliances can be an investment, and, as such, paying a higher price upfront can actually save you money in the long run. The top energy suckers in the home are heating systems, air conditioning, hot water heaters, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators, according to Energy.gov. To save money when purchasing these high-prices items, ask about display models. Often times these are discounted to very low prices.
Have any more energy saving renovations you’ll be making to your home this fall? Share them with us below!