Energy Efficient Improvements
The long winter is nearly behind us and, for most of us, that means lower energy bills (or at least until we turn the A/C on). Gas and electricity prices have been on a continuous upward trend making energy efficient home improvements a hot topic among many. While upgrading to more energy efficient appliances and other household related improvements does cost money upfront, it will end up saving you money in the long run. Here are some of the top ways for you to save money on energy bills around your home:
Heating & Cooling:
When heating and cooling your home, each degree hotter or colder can effect your bill by as much as 10 percent. If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, check your ducts. The Environment Protection Agency estimates that up to one-fifth of the air can escape through leaks. You can easily remedy any leaks with inexpensive duct sealant.
Another tip for keeping your heating and cooling bills lower is to ensure that your window coverings and windows are adequate. Aside from the view they may offer, bare windows are not your friend. Having thin curtains can increase your homes heat loss by up to 8 percent. While thick curtains can help to keep as much as 15 percent more heat in, energy efficient windows can help to reduce heating and cooling bills by up to 20%. Also, make sure that your window panes have an adequate amount of caulking around them as to not let any drafts in (or warm air out).
Sealing & Insulating Your Home:
If your home is properly sealed, you could save up to 10% off your energy bills. Check your attic, basement and/or crawlspace to ensure that they are all properly ventilated and insulated.
Newer refrigerators use much less energy than the old mammoth ones. A full-size refrigerator requires between 350 to 550 kWH per year. Those made in the 1970’s and 1980’s took over 1,000 kWh of energy per year to operate. Now in 2014, new federal efficiency standards in place for refrigerators bringing the usage down to 390kWh.
Did you know that heating water counts for an average of 15% of energy usage for a home? Based on national averages, 37% of a homes hot water goes to showers/baths while 26% goes to the clothes washer. High efficiency water heaters are able to use anywhere from 10% to 50% less energy than standard models.
In America, $10 billion annually is wasted energy just from “Vampire Energy”. This encompasses leaving devices on such as TV’s, computers and gaming consoles.
Ways to Calculate:
There are a variety of ways that you can use to find out your energy usage and cut back. The Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick allows you to calculate your homes energy efficiency, simply click here to start the process to find out your score. Another option is to spend anywhere from $250 to $800 to enlist the services of an energy auditor. This person will come to your home and analyze it for top energy wasters.
If your home is properly sealed and energy efficient steps are in place, then you can drastically save money on your home energy bills. According to CNSNews, Americans pay 42% more now for electricity than just a decade ago and the average price of electricity hit record highs in 2013. Not only will you realize lower energy bills by taking a few simple measures to ensure the energy efficiency of your home, but you may also be able to advertise your home as energy efficient should you ever decide to put it on the market.
Sell My Boston HouseEnergy Efficient Improvements