Energy efficiency in the home has become a major concern for many people with the current rise in energy costs. Many people can afford to go green with alternative forms of energy and others, the majority, need to cut corners wherever they can. This article will address how you can go green, make your home more energy efficient and save money that is noticeable in the utility bills rather quickly. There is no need to worry that this article is a waste of time due to a limited budget. All of the suggestions are economical and are known to save money each month, paying for the changes in the first month or two where savings start to become pure profit for a few moments of your time.
One of the biggest energy losses when it comes to home efficiency is drafts in the house. These can be from doors and windows, cracks in the foundation or poor insulation in certain areas of the home. You can pick up a roll of insulation for under twenty dollars to fill areas that are void or simply contain low levels of the product. Caulking, weatherstrip and canned insulation will seal the gaps in windows and doors as well as cracks in the foundation. Most of these products average around five dollars at your favorite store and go a long way with reducing drafts, thus reducing the heating and cooling bills during trying months of extreme temperatures and inclement weather.
Inefficient furnaces should be replaced. Basically if your furnace is more than five to ten years old, it is time for a new one. You do not need to purchase a top of the line expensive model as the lower end units are more efficient due to changes in governmental efficiency requirements than the ones from a few years ago. A newer furnace may take a year or two to pay for itself in savings depending on use but will pay itself off and work far better than the one you currently have.
Upgrading windows is another way to stay efficient in your home. It is suggested that if money is tight, strictly work on problem areas, one at a time. Look for windows from home decorating discount stores as they have the best deals. These are usually overstock or returns from builders who ordered too many for their site. These are not the national home improvement chains, so check your local phone book for a discounted store near you.
Outlets are generally a source of heavy energy loss. Many are located on outside walls without surrounding insulation to prevent drafts. You can purchase a pack of foam insulation that is made to specifically fit over the outlet and prevent drafts from most stores for just a couple bucks.
The main item you want to change with the fastest cost recovery is in your light bulbs. Switch from incandescent to LED, which are more costly but brighter and last longer, or CFC which are the florescent type bulbs. Many people see a 20 dollar or more reduction in their energy bill each month if they are the type of home that has lights burning for long periods of time.
As you can see, these changes are economically feasible for anyone that owns a home, and once the adaptations are completed, you will see a return on your investment quickly. Everybody is concerned about going green, and our finances often prevent it. This is a way to do so and reap the rewards of being environmentally friendly and a fiscally conscious homeowner.