With fuel prices on the rise, we need to be more energy conscious. There are many simple steps the average home owner can do themselves to make their home more energy efficient. Below I have outlined some basic tips and suggestions that you can follow. All these items can be purchased at your Home Center.
Is your water heather in a non heated area of your home? If it is your hot water heater will be using additional energy to maintain the water temperature its set for. A simple solution is to purchase and install a water heater jacket. This will prevent heat from escaping and reduce your energy cost.
Insulate all water pipes and heating pipes that pass through none heated areas. You can purchase insulating sleeves that wrap around the pipes. The only tool required is a utility knife for trimming. These sleeves will prevent heat from escaping in the winter and prevent pipes from sweating and dripping in the summer.
Check to see that your attic or crawl space has insulation between the floor joists. This is one of the most critical areas in your home. Without insulation in the attic your house will heat up in the summer and you will be wasting a large amount of energy trying to keep it cool. In the winter time a good portion of your heating will be escaping through your attic.
Make sure you have cross ventilation in your attic or crawl space. This will keep your attic much cooler. Vents or vent fans can be installed on opposite ends of your attic to exhaust out hot air.
Check all your windows and doors for drafts and cracks. Examine the exterior of your windows and doors for any cracks. Re-caulk any window or door that has cracks. Always remove old caulking first before re-caulking. Install weather striping on the inside of any door or window with drafts.
Install a programmable thermostat so you can reduce your energy cost in the winter and summer for when you are not home. These thermostats can be set with different on and off times for each day of the week. This helps you customize your energy needs and saves you money.
Ceiling fans will save you money both in the summer and winter months. In the summer months your ceiling fan blades should be rotating counterclockwise; since moving air feels cooler this will help you save on air conditioning cost by raising your temperature setting. In the winter months your ceiling fan blades should be moving clockwise at the slowest speed to push warm air down from the ceiling. The direction of the fan blades is controlled by a little slide switch on the side of your fan.
When purchasing appliances like, air conditioners, dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer always look for the Energy Star Label. This will assure you are purchasing energy efficient appliances that will save you money in operating them.