If you’re focused on saving money and energy, first stick to the basics. Many homeowners think saving money and energy must involve major household renovations or sweeping lifestyle changes. But a lot can be accomplished by focusing on five no-brainers in areas that are proven to produce results.
Tips for Saving Money and Energy
- Don’t neglect routine maintenance. Reduce heat loss in winter and summer heat gain by sealing air leaks with caulking and replacing worn weatherstripping around windows and doors. Make a point to change the system’s air filter monthly, too.
- Add to your home’s insulation. Insulation installed in your home at construction usually doesn’t meet newer efficiency standards. Particularly in the attic, insulation can be easily upgraded by simply adding new layers on top of existing material. Fiberglass batts are an easy DIY project for most homeowners, while cellulose loose-fill can be handled by a professional contractor.
- Dump the incandescent bulbs. Old-school incandescent light bulbs waste energy by producing more heat than light. Today you have alternatives. Compact fluorescent bulbs can reduce lighting energy costs by up to 50 percent, while new LED bulb technology can up those savings to as much as 75 percent.
- Choose Energy Star appliances. If your existing appliances are approaching the end of their expected service life, replace them with the latest Energy Star-certified models. Operating costs can be lowered by anywhere from 10 to 50 percent by switching out old energy hogs for newer energy-saving stoves, washing machines and dishwashers. Ask your HVAC dealer about potential rebates available for upgrading to an Energy Star model.
- Update the HVAC system. If you’re still living with 1990s heating and cooling technology, you’re paying a price for it. Federal efficiency specs have risen substantially since then and simply by upgrading to one of today’s new, standard-efficiency furnaces or air conditioners, you’ll get an immediate payback in the form of lower operating costs from day one. You’ll also get more consistent comfort performance, a longer warranty and more features.
For more ideas for saving money and energy, contact P. K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.