Taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of your home will reduce your electric bills and help to keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket, not to mention reduce the carbon footprint you will leave behind.
The first step in making your home more energy efficient is to have a home energy audit. An energy auditor will help you identify places where you can reduce the amount of energy being used. Try using The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory’s Home Energy Saver, a free online tool that uses data developed by the U.S. Department of Energy to make specific recommendations for energy-saving upgrades based on details you provide such as ZIP code, address, house size, type of insulation and number of occupants.
Another way to save energy around the house is to switch your current lightbulbs to compact flourescent lights. This can reduce lighting energy use by 50-70%. Motion and daylight sensor lighting can also reduce your lighting energy use because the lights are on only when needed.
A quarter to half of the heat leaving the furnace (or cold air leaving the air conditioner) leaks out of the duct system before it reaches the living area of a home. A professional can spray a special sealer into your duct system to prevent the waste of energy and heat. It works in a similar way that fix-a-flat does on a flat tire. Use weatherstripping to seal areas around the doors and caulk can be used around areas such as your kitchen back splash and countertop.
Insulating the attic will reduce the loss of heat from your home in the winter and will slow the flow of heat into your house in the summer. Insulation used in an attic is typically fiberglass, cellulose, or foam. This would also be a good time to have an energy auditor asses where and how much insulation will help make your home more energy efficient.
While replacing old windows with new, energy efficient ones may seem like a large out of pocket expense, the return on investment is what you should focus on. According to the Green Building Council, you could save up to 25% on your electric bill just by making your windows more energy efficient. At the very least, caulk around every window to reduce the amount of heat escaping and coming in.
As homeowners, I know you strive to reduce expenses where you can and by making your home more energy efficient, you’ll be able to do just that. These tips are a great place to start and I’m sure an energy auditor will have many more suggestions.
Do you have tips for other homeowners to reduce utility bills and create a more energy efficient home?
My name is June Seebohm and I am an experienced Realtor serving the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC area’s. I am happy to help you in any way that I can in regards to learning about our beautiful area, as well as any and all of your real estate needs or questions! Please don’t hesitate to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-290-2929. I also have a Facebook Page and would love to connect with you there. Whether you are a vacationer, resident, buyer, seller, or current home owner/renter interested in the Hilton Head area, this is a blog you’ll want to follow!