Need a good New Year’s Resolution? Saving money on your energy bill could be a great one. The start of the new year marks the perfect opportunity to do a home energy checkup. While you could hire a professional to assess the energy efficiency of your home, you can also do it on your own. Here are some must-do tasks for a home energy checkup:
FIND AND SEAL ANY AIR LEAKS
Are you noticing an uncomfortable draft in a room? That’s probably because of an air leak. Take some time to search your home for any leaks. You’ll be glad you did. You could save anywhere from 10 to 20 percent on your annual energy bill just by eliminating drafts in your home.
These cracks can be found inside or outside of your house. On the inside, look for gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring, as well as the junctures of the walls and ceilings. Take a close look at the exterior of the property to find any potential leaks where two different materials meet. This is a likely source for any costly cracks outside of the home. Don’t forget to check windows, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.
Caulk any holes for faucets, pipes, electrical outlets and wiring and seal any leaks along the foundation and siding with the necessary material.
Also, be sure to check your insulation to make sure it is at the recommended level. You’ll soon enjoy a warmer and more cost-effective home.
INSPECT HEATING AND COOLING EQUIPMENT
It’s very important to check your heating and cooling equipment on an annual basis to ensure it’s performing at an optimal level. For forced-air furnaces, you should replace your filters on a monthly basis, especially during high usage periods.
Consider replacing your entire system if it’s more than 15 years old. A new unit could make an enormous impact on your energy consumption and reduce your energy bill significantly.
REPLACE ANY WASTEFUL APPLIANCES OR ELECTRONICS
Outdated or inefficient appliances could raise your energy consumption. Start by looking at your light-bulbs. Consider replacing any bad bulbs with energy saving alternatives, such as CFL’s or LED’s. Don’t waste money on bulbs that are overly bright and perhaps install sensors, dimmers and timers to cut back on usage.
Evaluate your appliances and determine whether there is a more cost-effective option out there. Unplug items such as chargers when they aren’t in use or change the settings to reduce its consumption.
MAKE A LIST
Once you’ve determined what’s working and what’s not, create a checklist that will help you properly execute any home energy improvements. Jot down where you’re wasting the most energy. Think about how long you plan to own your current home and determine whether the costs of these improvements are worth the long-term savings. Figure out if you can do the repair yourself, or if you need to hire a contractor. Of course, determine a budget for your money and time so you can get the job done right.
Article courtesy of Enjoy Magazine January 2019 issue