With natural resources dwindling and energy costs on the rise, there's never been a better time to address the energy efficiency of your home. With just a few simple changes, you can dramatically reduce your overall energy usage, resulting in lower monthly utility bills. Best of all, you will be doing your part to help protect the planet for future generations to enjoy. Here are some quick tips you can use to boost your home's efficiency and start saving today.
One of the keys to energy savings is making your home as air tight as possible. To accomplish this, you need to focus on sealing exterior leaks. Depending on your home improvement skills, this can be an easy, relatively inexpensive DIY project. Simply examine the outside of your home for areas where air could be escaping. Common problem areas include the spaces around windows and doors, the area between your foundation and the base of your house, along the seams where two walls meet, around electrical outlets and anywhere that plumbing pipes enter your home. Use caulk to seal leaks that are smaller than a quarter of an inch, and expanding spray foam for larger openings measuring up to three inches across.
Along with sealing the exterior of your home, you should also consider sealing your ducts. Leaky ductwork can seriously undermine the energy efficiency of your home by allowing heated or cooled air to escape before it even has a chance to reach your living area. The best way to address this problem is by sealing your home's ductwork. This may be one project that you want to leave to the professionals since ductwork is often hidden within the walls, floors and ceilings of your home and can be difficult to access. If you decide to do the project yourself, carefully inspect your ductwork for leaks or openings. Seal any leaks your find with mastic or metal tape specifically designed for the job.
Another key area to address when working to improve efficiency is your attic. A poorly insulated attic can dramatically reduce efficiency by allowing heated air to escape. Inspect your attic to ensure that you have adequate insulation. If not, you can either purchase additional insulation at your local home improvement store or hire a professional to handle the job for you. Although there is some initial cost involved in insulating your attic, the project can quickly pay for itself through energy savings over time.
Finally, replace all of the light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs use far less energy than traditional light bulbs, allowing you to save money whenever your lights are on. For even more savings, make a commitment to turn the lights off every time you leave a room. Although at first it may be difficult to remember, it will quickly become a habit that can result in significant savings.
These simple tips and tricks don't cost a lot of money, but they can help you save a great deal of energy. As a result, you can lower your home's monthly utility bills while at the same time doing something good for the planet.