How Energy Efficient is Your Home? Learn how to Audit and Improve Your Home’s Efficiency

Drafty windows, leaky faucets, and dirty air filters are common problems in many homes. However, these problems aren’t just annoying, they’re also costing you money by decreasing your energy efficiency and giving you higher utility bills.

Would you like to save $200 to $400 a year on your energy costs? That’s how much the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program estimates homeowners can save by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

Keep in mind that a well-maintained home is also a safer home, so there’s plenty of added incentive to improve how well things function. Because we at the Warwick Agency want to  help you on the path to a safer, more energy efficient home, we’d like to share the following tips from the National Association of Home Builders.

Home Energy Audit

how energy efficient is your homeMaking your home more efficient can seem a little overwhelming. However, it’s a lot more manageable than you might assume. The process starts by “auditing” your energy efficiency, which is a pretty simple task you can do by yourself.

This will show you where your home loses energy, the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, and ways you can decrease your electricity use. Just inspect the areas listed below and note any problems you find.

Air today, a higher bill tomorrow. Air commonly “leaks” through gaps around baseboards, electrical outlets, windows, and doors. Stopping these drafts can save up to 30% on your yearly energy costs.

Be sure to check your home’s exterior as well, paying particular attention to areas where two different building materials meet. When you find leaks, seal them with caulk or weather stripping.

Don’t wait… insulate! Are your walls and ceiling sufficiently insulated? Your attic door should be insulated and able to close tightly. Make a small hole in a closet or other inconspicuous place and probe into the wall with a screwdriver to check if the space is completely filled with insulation.

Don’t get hot and bothered by your HVAC. Efficient heating and cooling systems can save you aggravation as well as money. It’s well-worth having a professional check and clean your equipment each year to ensure that everything is running properly, as it both saves you money in the long-run and can keep you safe.

You’ll also want to check that your ducts and pipes are insulated properly. Filters for forced-air furnaces should be replaced as soon as they are dirty, or every 30 to 60 days.

Let there be (efficient) light. Lighting can account for up to 20% of your home’s total electricity usage. Consider switching to compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, which last longer and use far less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Once you complete your audit and make any necessary changes, the only thing left is to figure out how to spend all of the money you’re going to save each year.

If you’re looking for more ways to save, or want to review your policies, be sure to contact us or give us a call today at (203) 775-2564.

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