These few small items can drastically reduce the heating costs, as well as cooling, associated with your home. The key is to reduce air leakage from the envelope of the home. By reducing the amount of air leakage, you are holding in the warm air longer, thus reducing the need for your furnace to have to heat the air in your home as often. Obviously, if the furnace is not running as often, the cost to heat your home will be less.
Below are five simple items that you can due to reduce your energy costs associated with your home. In addition to these items, having a complete home inspection performed will help you recognized deficiencies in your home. By doing this you can make a game plan to better insulate your home, or make repairs that will save you money on energy costs in the future.
- Perform yearly maintenance on caulk around your window and door openings. These openings are one of the largest spaces for air to exit your home. By keeping these areas sealed, you not only keep water out, but you reduce the amount of air leakage in these areas as well. Put this on your spring or fall home maintenance list to ensure that you have this completed every year. If you are not sure how or where to caulk, hire a professional contractor to perform the work for you.
- Check the weatherstripping around your exterior doors. If the weatherstripping is worn, or missing, you are losing valuable warm air to the exterior of the home. This is another very easy problem to remedy for the average home owner.
- One area that most of do not think about is recessed lighting. Check the seals at the ceiling on these. Chances are, there is quite a draft of air moving directly into your attic. If you feel comfortable, go into the attic, and place your hand around the ceiling penetration of one of these lights. You can probably feel the air rushing into the attic. All this air going into the attic is costing you lots of money every year. Having these lights properly sealed can drastically reduce your energy costs.
- The laundry room can be another area for huge heat loss in our homes. On quite a few home inspections, I find the exhaust vent for the dryer is not properly secured and sealed. Most of the time it is just stuck in the hole and that's it. On a winter day, feel the wall in that area. Very cold most likely. Get the area around this pipe sealed and make sure the pipe is properly secured in place. This will help slow some of the air leakage in this area of your home.
- Last on the list is the drywall itself. Repair any holes in the drywall. Holes in the walls can drain the warm air right out of a room, causing your energy bill to rise. If you do not feel comfortable repairing the wall yourself, hire a professional home improvement contractor to do the work for you. The money you spend on this repair will save you money in the long run on energy costs.
Put the preceding list to use, and I am sure you will see some savings in your energy costs. Remember that performing regular maintenance on these items is the best way to ensure proper performance.