One of the best ways to save a few bucks on your monthly bills is to make your home more energy efficient. This way you're saving significant amounts of money over time. Here are some tips to consider.
One of the best ways to increase the energy efficiency of a home is to add another layer of insulation if there isn't enough. To determine if you have enough insulation in your attic, measure the existing amount of insulation. If there is less than twelve inches, you most likely need additional insulation.
In colder climates you may even need as much as fifteen inches in your attic. When adding insulation it's important to use unfaced insulation that has no kraft paper on it. The kraft paper can trap moisture in your attic and cause mold and mildew.
Run the new insulation so that it's perpendicular to the ceiling joist. This will create an insulation blanket and prevent the hot or cold temperatures of your attic form affecting the comfortable living conditions down below.
Energy Efficient Window Replacement
It's hard to have an energy efficient home with out energy efficient windows. Poor quality drafty windows can make a big impact on your energy bill. A popular selection for many new homes as well as renovation projects is vinyl windows.
Vinyl windows have several advantages. Unlike metal windows, a vinyl window will not allow the temperature outside to transfer to the inside of a home. Vinyl windows also typically have double paned glass. This means there are two pieces of glass with an air space between them making a much more efficient unit and incorporating sound deadening qualities.
To be sure that you are purchasing a good quality vinyl window, always look for the energy star label. Replacing your old windows with new energy efficiency ones will not only make your home look better but also stop cold/warm air transfer around windows and save you money on your energy bill.
The energy cost to run appliances, overtime, can be many times greater than the upfront cost. Today's appliances are better insulated so if you're in need of new appliances it pays to buy energy-efficient ones.
When you're out shopping for appliances you might be surprised at what a vast collection you have to choose from. Your selection should not be based solely on color or special features but also on efficiency. Most of the appliances these days are up to 50% more efficient than they were 10 years ago.
To make sure you're getting the most efficient appliance look for the energy star label. This will ensure that it is the most efficient in that category of appliance. If it's not in your budget to buy new appliances at least make sure your existing appliances are as efficient as possible.
First of all remember to vacuum under the refrigerator and keep the coils clean. Also use your dishwasher and washing machine efficiently by washing only full loads.
Air Filter Replacement
Your heating and cooling system is the biggest user of energy in your home. So it only makes sense that it should run as efficiently as possible. Tone of the most important parts in this system is the filter because all of the air that is distributed throughout the duct work of your heating and cooling system has to go through the filter at the return air grill.
In most homes the grill is located in a hallway. Pay attention to the air filter, a dirty filter restricts air flow, makes your heating and cooling system work harder and will end up costing you more money each month. Here's how simple filter replacement is. Look at your existing filter to get information about the correct size, drop by your local home center and pick up another filter of the same size. That's all there is to it.
Place the new filter right back into position, close he grill and it's ready to go. You might also consider writing the date that you replaced the filter one the edge of the filter so there's no mistaking when it needs replacing again. Changing the filter regularly will ensure the system is operating as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.
Digital Programmable Thermostat
Another way to maximize your current heating and cooling system is by installing a digital programmable thermostat also called a set back thermostat. This will make sure that your home is warm when you want it to be, and not unnecessarily when you are way from home.
It's a perfect way to save money year round. Many of these thermostats are available for less than $100 and replacing your existing thermostat is easy. Turn off the power and follow the instructions to match the wires as needed. This will allow you to adapt your heating and cooling system to your lifestyle.
If you're at work during the day the programmable thermostat will allow you to adjust the temperature while you're away and just before you arrive home the system will kick on and bring your home to a comfortable temperature. By dropping the temperature in your home by just a few degrees while you're away you can save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling bill.