Making your home more energy efficient - Making your home more energy efficient will save you money every month on your energy bills. The less energy you use, the less you pay. In addition, you are helping the environment because less energy needs to be produced. There are many things you can do to save energy, some simple and inexpensive, some more complicated and expensive.
For a more energy efficient home, seal against air leaks. Properly size your heating and cooling equipment. Properly design and seal your duct system. Insulate, use energy efficient windows and energy efficient lighting.
Adding insulation to existing walls is a huge energy saver. It will help keep you house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. There are Do It Yourself kits on the market that allow the homeowner to insulate there existing walls quite easily. If you are not the DIY type there are many insulation companies that can do the job for you as well. Either way the end result will be a more energy efficient house that will save you money over time.
Any Energy Star efficient appliances you end up using in your home also nets you a percentage in tax credits. Roofing, siding, HVAC systems and insulation that are Energy Star efficient can obtain up to 10% of the cost as a tax credit.
One of the easiest things you can do is to replace your standard light bulbs with longer lasting more enegry efficient power compact bulbs. This will help you save on average $70 per year.
It sounds simple, but make sure that when you leave the room you turn off the lights. If you are not going to be spending time in a particular room, then it makes no sense to leave the lights on, and running up your bills.
Check and replace the weather stripping on your windows and doors. This is a simple and inexpensive way to help reduce energy costs. It can help all year around for both heating and air conditioning
Upgrading all your appliances to today's more energy efficient models will save you on your electric bills. Examples of common appliances that can drain your pocket book are:
- Clothes Washer
Wood-burning fireplaces are notorious for increasing energy bills. Even with the flue closed, if the fireplace is not adequately sealed then your heating dollars are probably floating up and out of the chimney.
Purchasing and having energy efficient windows installed can help save money and make your home more energy efficient. There are a lot of different windows available on the market so make sure that you shop around for a good price, get quotes from multiple companies for not only the price of the windows but for the installation too, and do a little research on the quality and efficiency of the windows you are looking to buy. You will be surprised at how much the quotes from multiple companies for the same product will range.
Install a thermostat with a timer function. Set the thermostat to lower the temperature during the day when no one is home, and raising the temperature to a comfortable level 30 minutes before you get home is a sound way to save on energy costs.
How do I make my home a high efficient home? - High efficient homes are homes that run on less energy. The more efiicient your home is, the more money you will save on your monthly bills. There are several things that you can do to make your home more efficient.
Think about replacing your old single pane windows with new energy efficient designs. Also, if you have had your heating and cooling system for awhile you should get a consultation on how a new system can save you money on your utility bills.
Installing high efficient lighting in your home can save you a couple of hundred dollars, in the frst year alone. The light bulbs last longer, and provide the same amount of light while using a fraction of the wattage. If you are interested in other ways that high eifficent lighting can improve your home there is a lighting fact sheet available at:
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC)
P.O. Box 3048
Merrifield, VA 22116
Programmable thermostats help reduce energy costs by lowering energy use during those times when you do not need it. In the winter, for example, your house does not need to be quite as warm when you are away at work, nor does it need to be as warm when you are asleep in bed. A programmable thermostat can tell your home's heating system to gear up for your arrival after work, or to knock off a bit until an hour or so before you get up in the morning.
Ceiling fans can save energy in both the summer and winter. In the summer, fan blades should revolve in a counterclockwise direction. Since moving air feels cooler, using ceiling fans in the summer allows you to raise the thermostat temperature, reducing the workload of your air conditioner. Air conditioners use considerably more energy than ceiling fans.
Showers usually require less hot water than baths. Additional savings can be realized by installing simple water-saving shower heads. This will reduce water consumption, which is good for everyone. The primary benefit is lower heating bills brought about by using less energy to heat less water.
Use heat-generating appliances such as washers, dryers or ovens during the cooler hours of the morning or evening. This reduces the load on your air conditioner in the summer, and actually helps heat the house in the winter.
Heat lost through windows and doors represents a significant chunk of most heating bills. You can help prevent this by covering your windows and sealing your doors. Remove and replace damaged caulk and weather-stripping. Self-stick foam and rolled rubber weather-stripping are easy to install, and can contribute greatly to your home's efficiency.
An inexpensive method of weatherizing windows involves attaching thin, clear plastic film to the window trim inside of the house using two-sided tape. The film is then stretched tight using heat from a blow dryer to remove wrinkles and creases.
Using newer appliances such as high efficiency clothes washers which use 30-50 percent less water, 50-60 percent less energy and require, and one third the detergent than standard washers will save you both in your water and electric bill. Your clothes will suffer less wear and tear and will require less time in the dryer to boot.
High efficiency dishwashers use 6-10 gallons of water per load and some will use even less, compared to traditional dishwashers that use 10-12 gallons per load. You will save both time and money with not having to pre-rinse as these newer models are much better with cleaning your dishes.
Replacing your home electronics with energy star models, this will save you some money on your electricity bills as these products use less energy.
Something as simple as setting the thermostat to 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer can help save money on energy bills each month. Along with the conservative thermostat settings you should also use a high efficency furnace filter and make sure to clean the filter or replace at at the specified intervals.
If all of this sounds like a foreign language to you, contact your local power company. They will have an energy audit program, where they can assist in evaluating your energy demands and make suggestions to conserve usage, based on your specific home.
Try not to leave your bathroom fans running longer than necessary. Although they don't use a lot of electricity, they will pull the air out of your home. During the winter, this can let a lot of heat out.
Installing an electric or gas tankless water heater can help to make your house more efficient. Some benefits of a gas and electric tankless water heater are: Endless hot water, Small, compact, and powerful, 95% efficiency rating, reduced electricity costs, energy and fuel savings, heats water only when needed and a substantial amount of space savings.
Energy Efficient Mortgages - With the many environmental issues facing us today, lenders are now offering incentive based mortgages for individuals looking to install energy saving components to their homes. The mortgages are called Energy Efficient Mortgages.
Some communities, states and government agencies are also offering tax breaks for homes that are energy efficient and/or save on energy costs by certain percentages. Consult your Home Builder, Mortgage Broker, Realtor, or your communities government office to find out if there are any tax breaks available for energy efficient homes that you may qualify for. These tax breaks can even be in addition to the Energy Efficient Mortgages that some lenders are offering.
The FHA "Streamlined K" mortgage will allow you to finance uprgrades to a home being purchased in order to become more energy efficient.
The FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage covers upgrades for new and existing homes and is now available in all 50 states. Key features includes:
Loan limits may be exceeded
No additional down payment
No new appraisal
$4,000 or 5% of the property value (up to $8,000) may be financed
FHA’s energy efficient mortgage program - FHA’s energy efficient mortgage program provides mortgage insurance for a person to purchase or refinance a principal residence and incorporate the cost of energy efficient improvements into the mortgage.