Many people are aware of how they can take some basic steps to make their homes more energy-efficient places and lower their utility bills, such as adjusting a home thermostat when away and replacing outdated and inefficient appliances. Learn more about the following four improvements you may not have thought about — easy steps you can take that can make a big difference in your utility spending and add value to your home.
Insulate and Seal Your Home
To increase your home’s energy efficiency, seal cracks, gaps, and leaks, and add insulation. A properly sealed and insulated home will not only improve your home’s comfort and indoor air quality, but it will also go a long way toward reducing your heating and cooling bills. While the initial costs for some of these improvements may be slightly high, the savings will pay off quickly.
The attic is often a place where you find the biggest air leaks. It is also a space that is generally easily accessible, which makes it easier to insulate and seal. Some other common places where air leakage often occurs includes electrical switch plates, receptacles, outlets, gaps around plumbing and pipes, attic hatches, fireplace dampers, and old weatherstripping around doors and window frames.
Schedule Regular HVAC System Maintenance
Regular HVAC system maintenance will not only improve energy efficiency in the home, but it can also lower your energy bill significantly. Simple tasks such as cleaning or replacing the air filters in your HVAC system on a regular basis will help keep your system from working harder and running longer than necessary. In addition, keeping up with regular preventive HVAC system maintenance will help your HVAC system run better longer and help you to avoid having to replace an HVAC system prematurely due to neglect.
If you have an older HVAC system, replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient system will make a difference in your home’s energy efficiency, too.
Replace Old Showerheads
Swap out your old showerheads for more energy-efficient ones. Newer, low-flow showerheads have a much lower water flow rate than older and conventional showerheads — sometimes as low as 2.5 gallons per minute compared to 5 gallons per minute. This water flow rate will help improve your home’s water efficiency and save energy. Plus, adding low-flow bathroom fixtures can help provide an attractive selling point for those putting their homes on the market.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Installing a programmable or smart thermostat will allow for significant energy savings. Smart thermostats enhance heating and cooling efficiency by allowing homeowners to set their HVAC systems to automatically adjust the temperature in their homes according to a chosen schedule. These devices also make it possible to turn down the temperature when family members are in bed or when no one is at home.
By taking a few simple measures, such as installing a smart thermostat, scheduling regular HVAC system maintenance, and making sure your home is properly insulated and sealed, you can lower your utility bills, improve your home’s energy efficiency, and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
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