While winter is a few months away, it’s not too early to prepare your home. Many Americans face significant energy bill increases in the year’s colder months. Luckily there are quite a few ways to boost energy efficiency at home leading up to colder weather.
Boost Energy Efficiency by Lowering the Thermostat at Home
Get into the habit of setting your thermostat’s temperature lower or higher than you need (depending on the season) when you’re not at home. Reducing the temperature by a few degrees will make a surprising difference in the monthly electricity bill because you will use less energy. The energy.gov website states that setting your thermostat to work less when you leave for work in the mornings will reduce power consumption by between 5% and 15%.
Make Sure Doors and Windows are Properly Sealed
Another easy way to make your home more energy efficient is to seal air leaks in and around your home’s doors and windows. Sealing cracks and gaps with weather-stripping or silicone caulk are inexpensive and easy to reduce energy costs. Add new weather-stripping around the frames if you have drafty doors or windows.
Boost the Efficiency of the Water Heater
Making a tank water heater more efficient is not difficult (or expensive). Wrap it snugly in an insulation blanket. These coverings don’t cost much and are manufactured specifically for water heater tanks. They help to keep the water hot, reduce the workload on the heating element, and reduce your electricity bill. Purchase a water heater blanket at your local hardware store for a quick and easy way to improve energy efficiency at home.
Replace Showerheads with Low-Flow Versions
Install low-flow showerheads to reduce water consumption. These boast a flow rate of fewer than 2.5 gallons per minute. To put that into perspective, the standard showerhead uses around 5 gallons of water every minute. You will use less water and less electricity to heat the water. A low-flow shower head will pay for itself in your utility savings in just a few months.
Hire an HVAC Professional to Boost Energy Efficiency at Home
Having your HVAC system inspected and serviced by a professional helps it operate more efficiently and extend its lifespan. Since the HVAC system is responsible for a sizable percentage of your property’s energy consumption, you should notice a drop in your utility bills – another great way to make your home more energy efficient.
Use Space Heaters as Infrequently as Possible
Electric space heaters are great for keeping your feet warm in winter. But they are not the best option to make your home more energy efficient. Many of them use 1,500 watts of power or more to run – a quick way to increase your home’s energy usage.