Step #1: Invest in a Home Energy Audit
Before you can make or increase your new home energy efficiency, it’s important to arm yourself with as much information as possible, so that you know and understand where you correctly stand.
To learn more about how a home energy audit can help you, please click here.
An energy audit, which is completed by a highly experienced energy auditor, is used to evaluate your home’s energy use. You will receive recommendations for cost-effective measures to improve your home’s comfort and efficiency upon the audit’s completion.
Step #2: Properly Air Seal Your Home
Adding new or additional insulation to your ceilings, attic and/or walls along with locating and treating any holes or gaps throughout your home will prevent your hard earned money from flying out the windows (so to speak).
Adequate levels of insulation slows the rate that heat flows out of your home in the winter or into the house in the summer. This allows you to reduce the amount of energy required to heat and/or cool your home throughout the year; thus saving you money.
Step #3: Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
One of the easiest methods for saving money on your new home’s monthly utility bills, which is also very cost-effective, is to simply purchase and install a programmable thermostat. For it to work properly, you will also need to ensure you’re using it correctly.
The Department of Energy estimates that by dropping the temperature in your home in the winter and increasing it in the summer by 10 to 15 degrees (depending on time of day and your preferences) for eight hour stretches you can save up to 15 percent annually.
Step #4: Change Your HVAC Air Filters Regularly
Are your air filters clogged? Energy Star recommends changing your air filter every month – or every three months if you invest in HEPA quality air filters – especially during the winter and summer months as more demand is placed on your HVAC system.
The benefits behind this small action go far beyond increasing your energy efficiency as you will also extend the life of your HVAC system, maintain a healthy level of indoor air quality and keep your entire heating and cooling system free from excess debris.
Step #5: Replace Traditional Light Bulbs Throughout
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use three-quarters less electricity than that of traditional incandescent light bulbs. While these light bulbs are a bit more expensive than incandescent, they last longer (10,000 vs. 1,000 hours) and use less watts, which makes them a worthwhile expenditure.
Considering the fact that lighting can account for up to 25 percent of your home’s energy costs, there’s never been a better time to make the switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps or even light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs); your preference.