Improving Your Home's Energy Efficiency in the New Year
We’ve all been there: bills going up during the colder months – regardless of the age of your home. Conserving energy can seem like a daunting task especially during inclement weather, but there are a few steps to keep in mind to begin lowering your costs and increasing your home’s efficiency.
1. Seal + Insulate. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature can sometimes seem like a luxury in the coldest (and hottest) months in the Midwest. The costs associated with heating and cooling average 45% of the average home’s energy tab. To mitigate this, seal gaps along with windows and doors, address cracks or gaps in your attic and basement, and insulate to or above local code. [Better Homes + Gardens]
2. Update Lighting. If you haven’t already, consider making the switch to LED light bulbs, inside + outside your house. When you update your lighting to LEDs, “you could see as much as a 60% to 70% improvement in your overall energy efficiency. In some cases, the improvement could be as great as 90%, depending on what kind of lights you are replacing and what kind of LED lights you are using.” [sitelogiQ]
3. Address Crawl Space Issues. Homes have never been completely airtight structures, and over the years outside air is given more and more access through both the changes you've decided to make to it and the natural decay of building products. By sealing your crawl space off from the outside, American Waterworks can help you create an environment that remains dry, clean, and healthy, as well as far more energy-efficient.
4. Upgrade Appliances. It’s no secret home appliances can gobble up your energy. As you replace these in your home, prioritize choosing new pieces that have a high energy star rating, ensuring they’ve been tested for efficiency. You can also research ways to conserve energy with your current appliances. Things you may not think about, like keeping an inch of space around your refrigerator, can help keep costs down.
5. Adjust Daily Habits. There are a few simple steps you can take in your day-to-day life that can also impact energy costs. Turning off lights in rooms you’re not using, lowering thermostats while away during the cold months and vice versa during the summer months, and unplugging chargers that are not in use are easy, effective ways to make a difference.
While improving your home’s energy efficiency doesn’t happen overnight, making smart decisions throughout the years can have a big impact on energy costs. American Waterworks provides annual maintenance check-ups to help our clients determine areas of improvement in their homes. Not only can this help with efficiency, but it can also prevent other costly problems before they occur. Learn more by visiting our website at https://www.american-waterworks.com/annual-maintenance.html.