Are you tired of paying unreasonably high energy bills every month? Well, the solution might be closer than you think! Making your home energy efficient can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Implementing an energy-efficient checklist can be even more crucial in Texas, where the weather can be extreme. This blog post will walk you through a new home energy efficiency checklist that will save you thousands.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Your heating and cooling system can account for up to 50% of your home’s energy consumption. That’s why it’s essential to maintain and upgrade your HVAC system to maximize energy efficiency. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning or replacing air filters, can increase your system’s efficiency and save you money. Consider upgrading to a high-efficiency HVAC system that uses less energy to produce the same heat or cool air. Additionally, programmable thermostats can save you money by automatically adjusting the temperature in your home based on your schedule.
Insulation and Air Sealing
Insulation and air sealing play a critical role in keeping your home energy-efficient. Texas weather can be unpredictable, with hot summers and cold winters, making insulation and air sealing even more critical. Do a simple DIY home energy audit to check for air leaks by inspecting your windows, doors, and vents.
Common areas where air leaks are found include:
- Electrical Outlets: While electrical outlets seem harmless, they can be sources of air leakage. The small gaps and openings around electrical boxes allow air to escape or enter your home.
- Baseboards: Baseboards, particularly those along exterior walls, can have gaps that permit airflow. These gaps may occur due to poor insulation or improper installation.
- Dryer Vents: The vent where your dryer expels air outside can also be a point of leakage. Gaps or poorly sealed connections in the dryer vent can let outside air enter or allow conditioned air to escape.
- Gaps in Materials: At the junctures of various building materials on the exterior of your home, such as where brick, wood, piping, or other materials meet, there may be small openings that permit air infiltration. These gaps often go unnoticed but can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency.
However, the most common sources of air leakage in homes are doors and windows. Here are some telltale signs to determine if these areas are compromised:
- Daylight Penetration: One clear indicator of air leakage around doors and windows is the ability to see daylight through small cracks and gaps in the window or door frames. This is especially noticeable during the daytime and indicates that outside air can freely enter your home.
- Sensory Clues: A more immediate and sensory way to detect air leakage is to feel for drafts. When standing near a door or window, if you can sense the movement of air or experience a noticeable temperature difference, it indicates an air leak.
- Loose or Rattling Windows and Doors: If your windows or doors rattle or seem loose in their frames, this suggests they aren’t properly sealed, and the air is likely seeping in or out.
Did you know lighting accounts for about 9-12% of your home’s energy consumption? One simple solution to save energy is to replace traditional incandescent bulbs with LED lighting. LED lights use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Consider installing motion sensors to automatically turn off lights when you leave the room. Also, use natural light whenever possible to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
Appliances and Electronics
Old appliances can be energy hogs, accounting for up to 20% of your home’s energy consumption. Replace old appliances with Energy Star-certified models to save energy and reduce energy bills. Smart power strips can also help by automatically turning off electronics when not in use. Consider investing in energy-efficient electronics such as laptops, televisions, and game consoles that use less energy.
Water usage significantly contributes to your home’s energy consumption, accounting for up to 18% of your energy bills. Upgrading to low-flow showerheads and faucets can save water and energy. Fixing leaks is another way to save water and money. Installation of water-efficient appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers can also reduce your home’s energy consumption.
Ductwork plays a crucial role in your home’s heating and cooling system. If your ductwork is leaking or not properly insulated, it can lead to significant energy loss. Consider having your ductwork inspected by a professional and repairing any leaks or damage. Insulating your ductwork can also reduce energy loss and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Your water heater can account for up to 14% of your home’s energy consumption. Consider upgrading to an energy-efficient water heater to save money on your energy bills. Tankless water heating, for example, can be up to 34% more efficient than traditional tank-style water heaters. Also, consider lowering your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce energy consumption.
Dirty air filters can reduce your HVAC system’s efficiency and increase energy consumption. Replace air filters regularly to keep your HVAC system running efficiently. Consider using high-efficiency air filters to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency further.
Implementing an energy-efficient checklist can save you thousands of dollars on your energy bills. Heating and cooling systems, insulation and air sealing, lighting, appliances and electronics, water efficiency, and renewable energy are all areas to consider when improving your home’s energy efficiency. In Texas, where the weather can be extreme, making your home energy efficient can be even more crucial.
Install ENERGY STAR Windows and Insulated Siding
ENERGY STAR windows and insulated siding effectively improve your home’s energy efficiency. These windows are designed to minimize heat transfer, keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. In the winter, they absorb heat from the sun, reducing the need for heating, while in the summer, they reflect heat, helping to maintain a cooler indoor environment. This not only enhances comfort but also reduces your energy costs.
Insulated siding acts as an extra layer of protection for your home’s exterior. It helps regulate indoor temperatures by preventing heat from escaping during the winter and blocking heat from entering during the summer. Installing energy-efficient windows and insulated siding represents an investment that leads to long-term cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint.
Turn Off Lights When Not in Use:
Conserving electricity by turning off lights and electrical appliances when leaving a room effectively lowers energy consumption and reduces environmental emissions. This simple practice reduces energy bills and contributes to a more sustainable environment.
Implementing solutions like motion-sensor lighting can automate this process, ensuring that lights are not left on unnecessarily.
Replace Larger Appliances:
Large appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers are significant energy consumers in your home. As they age, they become less energy-efficient. When replacing one of these appliances, choose an ENERGY STAR Certified product. These appliances meet rigorous energy efficiency standards and use less energy than non-certified models.
Upgrading to ENERGY STAR appliances not only reduces energy consumption but also results in lower utility bills. Modern appliances often have advanced features that enhance performance while using less energy. The initial investment in these appliances is offset by the long-term savings and benefits they provide.
Ready to start saving money on your energy bills? Contact us today to learn more about how you can improve your home's energy efficiency!