Do higher utility bills this winter have you frustrated? You can always employ the standard tips of keeping lights off when not in a room and unplugging things when not in use, but if your home is leaking warm air or letting cool air in, that should be your priority. Take a look at what Inhabitat suggests for how to make your home more energy-efficient and hopefully help save you some money this winter.
Get an energy audit
It’s best to know where your home might me wasting energy in order to prioritize what improvements you should make.
“The best way to get your home operating at its maximum efficiency is to hire a professional BPI certified energy rater to evaluate your spaces. This person will conduct what’s called an “energy audit” and he or she will test your home for energy losses and safety issues, and generate a detailed report highlighting what your home’s issues are,” according to Inhabitant.
A tube of high-quality caulk might be all you need to tackle any leaking areas of your walls.
Seal can lights
Since walls and lights are notorious areas in the home that experience air leaks, these are important areas to pay attention to. Always hire an electrician if you believe lights or electrical outlets need attention.
Check for insulation gaps
Inhabitant suggests that “anywhere you have something that penetrates the wall, there is bound to be an air leak. Check out the outside faucets, air vents and plumbing for large gaps where air can escape. Seal the penetrations with expanding foam so that every nook and cranny is filled. Be careful to never seal next to a gas flue or you will have a fire hazard on your hands.”
Tune up your heating system
According to Energy Star, 30% of your home’s energy usage is related to heating. Knowing that this number could be higher if you have system inefficiencies, it’s a good idea to get your heating system checked out each winter. Don’t forget to replace your system’s filter every few months as part of good maintenance!
Check your windows
Your energy audit should tell you a lot about how your current windows are performing. Window performance has come a long way since the days of single-pane windows and there are now many energy-efficient options. While new windows aren’t feasible or necessary in many homes, you can often improve the performance of your existing windows by installing cellular shades.
Install a smart thermostat
When in doubt, technology is here to save the day! Programmable thermostats help you save money by scheduling your heat to only turn on when you want it to. Won’t be home during the day? Program the thermostat to drop the temperature while you’re away and kick back up before you are scheduled to return. For even more control, select a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that you can control from an app on your phone, like the Nest!
If you’re interested in learning more about the energy-efficient features available in D.R. Horton homes, contact us here!