Energy efficient homes make better use of electricity. A major culprit for increased utility bills is poor energy efficiency. With a few upgrades, homeowners can reap the benefits of lower utility bills and greater comfort. In this article, we will share some of the best ways to reduce your energy consumption in the winter while making your home feel more comfortable. This allows you to enjoy reduced home heating costs.
Newer homes are often constructed with more energy efficient features such as higher levels of insulation. Insufficient insulation allows heated air to escape from homes in the winter and cooled air to escape in the summer. This translates to increased overall heating and cooling costs. The reason for this is because heating and cooling systems need to work harder to compensate for the loss of air.
Owners of older homes would benefit from adding insulation as a cost effective home improvement measure. Common areas to place additional insulation are walls in attics. However, insulation materials vary. They are usually made up of cellulose, fiberglass, foam and slag wool. According to the Insulation Contractors Association of America (ICAA), the recommended insulation should contain a high R-value. Adding more thermal resistant insulation can slash heating costs by 10-50%.
2. Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is a quick and easy way to increase energy efficiency. After purchasing weather stripping, place it anywhere that air can escape from your home. Be sure to check doors and windows. Additionally, professionals offer home energy audits using specialized equipment such as infrared cameras and blower doors. A professional assessment pinpoints the exact areas to add weather stripping and sites of possible air leakage. After locating these areas, use tape, caulk, reinforced vinyl, drywall, or foam sealants to keep out drafts. Only apply weather stripping to dry areas in preparation for the start of winter.
3. Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are invaluable in lowering winter heating costs. The devices maximize efficient heating as they can be programmed with temperatures without having to make manual adjustments to maintain heat in a home. This allows homes to lower temperature ranges when owners are away from home. It also raises the temperature once they arrive back home. Lowering the temperature when the home is away can help decrease heating costs by up to 10% in the winter months.
4. LED Lights
Consider a switch from fluorescent lights to LED lights. LED lights are more energy efficient. According to the US Department of Energy, LED lights function 75% more efficiently than the traditional incandescent light bulbs that are typically used in homes. LED lights last longer than incandescent or fluorescent lights. They require replacement less often as well. Some LED lights offer internet connectivity allowing users to activate and manage them via tablet or smartphone. This makes them a smart choice for homes.
5. Energy Efficient Doors And Windows
Consider upgrading to energy efficient doors and windows at replacement time. This upgrade can net some energy savings. Some doors and windows carry the ENERGY STAR identifier. This product identifier means products have been specially engineered to counter heat transfer to the outdoors. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that installation of energy efficient doors and windows could slash national household energy usage by a rate of 12% annually.
6. Heating System Tune-Up
Consider a professional heater or a/c tune-up each season. When tuning up your HVAC system, professionals perform a visual inspection, clean, repair and replace common system components. Systems in need of maintenance perform differently during operation and use more electricity. This leads to higher utility bills. Getting a tune-up is one of the best ways that you can increase your comfort levels while reducing your home heating costs. Be sure to contact a reputable HVAC company to handle all maintenance and repairs on your system.
7. Water Heating
Replace water heaters that are over 10 years old with newer energy efficient models. Newer models offer a variety of options. This includes on demand heaters that heat water when needed instead of heating a tank full of water. These tankless systems are far more efficient and additionally, they take up less space as well.
Heating System Tune-up Madison CT
By following the above steps, you will be able to significantly reduce your home heating costs this winter. Even if you just do a few of the above steps, it will still make a difference. Of all the steps, one of the best ways to increase energy efficiency in your home is by scheduling a heating system tune-up. This optimizes your system’s performance.
Wilcox Energy offers home heating solutions that will improve the comfort levels of your home. Furthermore, these solutions will reduce your energy consumption so that you don’t have to pay higher home heating costs. Let us tune up your heater for the winter so that you can feel cozy and warm at a fraction of the cost. We also offer heating oil delivery and propane delivery in your area.