Energy bills are a concern for many property owners. Perhaps you are one of them. You may have heard others discussing energy efficiency, and you may understand the concept, but maybe you do not know what steps to take to make your home more energy efficient.You may even have concerns about making this type of investment into your property.
Keep in mind that there are major and minor upgrades that can be made, and you can simply choose what fits your budget rather than forgoing upgrading at all. Major upgrades will usually pay for themselves over time in the form of lower energy bills.
Water Heater Considerations
Adjust the temperature on your hot water heater. It is unnecessary to have it on the highest setting, which utilizes more energy. Instead, lower it to a heat level that is comfortable enough for bathing and showers.
The tank and and pipes to the water heater are a source of heat loss. You can counteract this by insulating these areas. Ensure you consult your water heater warranty before you insulate it. Some warranties may void repairs if you make amendments to the water heater.
If you have an older water heater, it likely is not insulated. It may be worth it to consider upgrading. New models are built with efficiency in mind, which means that some form of insulation is likely part of the manufacturing process.
Doors and Windows
Storm doors are an effective and affordable way to add insulation to the entrances of your home. These doors create insulation pockets between them and the main doors to your home, which aids in reducing the amount of energy lost.
Check your windows for loose panes. Caulking is a low-cost method of ensuring that energy is not lost from loose panes. If your budget permits, you may want to consider upgrading your windows especially if they are single-pane windows. When upgrading, look for ENERGY STAR low-emissivity (low-e) windows.
Wash laundry in cold water whenever possible. Keep in mind using warm and hot water means that your water heater tank has to release water and refill and warm the new water.
You can put dishes into your dishwasher to keep things looking tidy. However, only run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded.
If your refrigerator has an energy savings feature, adjust the thermostat to the savings mode. If it does not, use a thermometer to determine the setting for 40 degrees. The FDA recommends temperatures of 40 degrees or less as safe for refrigerated foods. Opting for a temp lower than 40 degrees will make the refrigerator work harder, which can result in higher costs to operate.
A heating and cooling services provider is the best resource to use to determine areas in your home that are resulting in energy loss. They are also a good resource to use to determine if you may be eligible for tax incentives for major upgrades.