Many of us try to control our energy use to save money and/or to be more environmentally responsible. There are lots of improvements that can be made but have you ever wondered what the biggest energy wasters are around your house?
As we’ve discussed in recent posts, the best thing to do is start with a DIY home energy inspection or a professional energy audit that will help you find where your money can best be spent. Aside from an audit, this article on TLC’s How Stuff Works explains how to find the biggest energy wasters in your home.
“Locate air leaks.” Air leaks or drafts can allow outdoor air in and also let out the air you pay to heat in the winter or air condition in the summer. Plugging or sealing air leaks appropriately can save you from wasting energy.
“Check your heating and cooling equipment.” Poorly maintained or outdated heating and cooling equipment will perform badly and use much more energy. Be sure to keep your filters and ducts clean and have your system serviced by a professional HVAC contractor on a yearly basis. TLC recommends “replacing any heating or cooling equipment that’s more than 15 years old with newer, more energy efficient models.”
“Examine your lighting.” Switching to bulbs with lower wattage, compact fluorescents or LEDs can save a lot of energy.
“Check how old your appliances are.” Old appliances tend to suck a lot more energy than newer ones. To find out how efficient your appliances are simply check their Energy Star label, suggests the TLC article. My logic: do you really need that old hand-me-down beer fridge sitting half empty in the basement or garage sapping energy for nothing?
“Find Energy Vampires. Many home electronics and appliances use standby power when they seem to be off! Any device that uses a remote control or has an external power supply, rechargeable batteries or a continuous display (e.g. a light or clock) is probably sucking power when you think they’re not doing anything. Unplug devices when you’re not using them.”
Making your home more energy efficient is a home improvement that will pay itself off in energy savings and in the knowledge that you are doing something more sustainable for the planet and the future.
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