Are your energy bills higher than you think they ought to be? Are they constantly climbing and you don’t know why? The average home has a number of holes that energy tends to seep through, and the amount of energy leakage generally increases over time. If you are looking to cut back on your energy consumption, reduce your energy expenses, and improve the efficiency of your home, here are three of the best places places to start.
Windows & Doors
Even the slightest crack under your front door can mean big energy leakage if it is not properly taken care of. Leaving a space as small as an eighth of an inch between the bottom of your front door and its seal can lead to energy seepage equivalent to that which would leak through a hole the size of two square inches. Between the small spaces in your doors and slight cracks in your windows, finding places where energy can sneak out of the house is often easier than you would think. In many homes, especially those that are older, it is possible to find holes equivalent to a square foot or more. Sealing up these holes in your windows and doors alone can save up to 15% on your energy bills.
Most people are aware that the insulation (or lack thereof) in your home can contribute significantly to your home’s energy efficiency. Unfortunately, most also fall victim the the myth that insulating or reinsulating your home can solve your existing problems. The truth, however, is that the most important factor in the effectiveness of your home’s insulation is its ability to prevent the transfer of heat. What this means is that even the best insulated of homes can still contribute to excessive energy consumption if they are not properly sealed. For this reason, it is a good idea to have your home investigated by a heating and cooling professional for air leaks and energy holes before attempting to insulate your home.
Lack of insulation when it comes to your hot water pipes combined with excessive water temperatures are the leading culprits for unnecessary energy consumption when it comes to your water heater. By simply insultating the pipes on your water heater and turning the temperature down by ten degrees, you can easily save up to 5% per year on your energy bills. Another way to cut back on energy consumption is by investing in a tankless water heater, as opposed to a standard tank-type water heater. Tankless water heater manufacturers will boast 40% energy savings for those who make the switch, but the significant investment in doing so could take more than a decade to pay off.
This list is far from exhaustive, and there are many other parts of your home, such as your heating and cooling systems and your ducts, that contribute significantly to the loss of energy throughout your home. But it is a good place to start if you are looking for ways to reduce your energy footprint and save some money along the way.
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