Winter has finally kicked in on the East Coast. With cold temps and some areas getting several feet of snow and more promising to come, it’s important to make sure that our homes are as energy efficient as possible. There are many ways for families to make cost-effective energy upgrades at home. Changes both large and small will ultimately help protect the environment and, in turn, will save you some money. Many of these changes are simple one-time investments, while others are actions you can do every day.
Get an Energy Audit
Bring in a professional to evaluate your home and make energy recommendations. An energy audit inspection will help you determine how you use energy in your home and where you can make improvements. Energy audits are generally free of charge or can be done for a nominal fee.
Windows and Doors
Make sure windows and doors are properly sealed to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Plug up any leaks that could allow the cold air to get into your home and cause your heating bill to go up.
Make the Switch to LED Bulbs
As your incandescent bulbs burn out, consider replacing them with LED bulbs. Making the switch to LED bulbs could potentially cut general lighting energy use nearly in half by 2030, saving energy dollars and reducing carbon emissions. Quality LEDs have a long lifespan. They have an average life of 30,000 to 50,000 hours or even longer. A typical incandescent lamp lasts about 1,000 hours, and a CFL lasts 8,000 to 10,000 hours.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a simple way to save some money and improve the energy efficiency in your home. Once installed, you have the ability to program your heat and/or air conditioning to preset temperatures throughout the day.
Add Ceiling Fans
By simply adding ceiling fans to a few rooms throughout your home you can save dramatically and improve the energy efficiency in your home. During the summer months, a ceiling fan creates a cool breeze, which in turn reduces the need for air conditioning. In the winter a ceiling fan (rotating in the opposite direction) circulates the rising warm air, helping to keep the room comfortable.
Our homes are a major source of energy use, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Taking the time to improve the energy efficiency of our homes will enable each of us to save some money and help to reduce our carbon footprint.