Have you ever thought your home could be more energy efficient than it is? There are a variety of steps a homeowner can take to help their homes be more energy efficient, from evaluating the current efficiency of their home with an energy audit to replacing drafty, inefficient windows. Here are five steps to take to make your home more energy efficient.
1. Start with a home energy audit
An energy audit is an effective first step in determining your home’s current efficiency and possible improvement opportunities. During your energy audit, an energy auditor can help find energy leaks in your home, assess current systems and efficiencies, as well as determine if your home has adequate insulation and sealing. To learn more about what to expect, visit our blog on How To Prepare for your Home Energy Audits
2. Evaluate your heating and cooling system
The largest energy user in your home is your heating and cooling system. If you’ve seen an increase in your energy bills or some rooms in your house are too cold or too hot, it could be a sign your HVAC system might not be running as efficiently as it could be. A BGE HOME Energy and Comfort Consultant is a great resource to assess your home’s needs and help determine if it’s the right time for a new heating and cooling system.
3. Consider adding additional insulation to your attic
Attic insulation helps keep warm air inside during the winter, and cool air inside during the summer. If you decide to have an energy audit performed on your home, the auditor will be able to provide insight on your home’s insulation. If you find out that your attic is not properly insulated, adding additional insulation is a great option to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Even if you have the most efficient heating and cooling systems in your home, without the proper insulation, your system won’t be able to operate at peak efficiency.
4. Seal or replace old windows
Old, drafty windows that don’t properly seal your home from outside weather can hurt your home’s energy efficiency. Cutting down on drafts reduces the workload for your heating and cooling system and helps to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round. One way to help stop drafts and air leaks is by sealing your windows. If your windows are older, another option is to consider replacing your windows with new energy-efficient windows. New windows can not only help make your home more energy efficient, but also help improve the curb appeal of your home.
5. Evaluate your hot water needs
It’s important not only to evaluate the size, but also efficiency of your current water heater. Ensuring that your water heater tank is the appropriate size for your family, depending on number of people and usage, is a good place to start. The average life expectancy of a water heater is between 10 and 15 years. If your water heater is getting close to that age, replacing it with a more efficient model could help you save more energy. Since your water heater is the second largest energy expense in your home, upgrading could be a noticeable savings on your utility bill.
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
If you’re looking for ways to save energy at home and think it might be time for an upgrade, contact our team of Energy and Comfort Consultants today for a free, in-home estimate. Also consider smaller improvements throughout your home that can help improve your home’s efficiency. Read our seasonal tips page for ways to prepare for the upcoming season and save energy.