5 Easy Steps for Making Your Home Energy Efficient

A thermostat wearing a knitted cap and flashes the word "save" on its screen.

1. Assess Your Furnace

A furnace that is not operating at optimal levels can waste a great deal of energy. Contact your local HVAC professional and have the efficiency of your furnace assessed. If you have an older furnace you may want to consider having it replaced with a high efficiency unit. Newer furnaces generate more heat and waste less energy. There are also many rebate programs available to homeowners who have a high efficiency furnace installed. Also, be sure to change the air filters in your furnace on a regular basis to ensure better air circulation throughout your heating system. Check that the air vents in each of your rooms is clear so that the warm air from your furnace can be freely circulated through your home.

2. Seal Your Doors and Windows

Cool drafts that slip through the doors and windows of your home can wreak havoc on your energy bills. By adequately sealing these specific areas you can significantly increase the energy efficiency in your home and decrease the amount of hard earned money you waste. A typical weather stripping package costs about twenty dollars and comes with enough material to seal about four large areas. Remove the double-sided adhesive from the kit and apply it to the frame of a window. Press the plastic material on the tape around the window. Use a hair dryer to tighten the plastic film and seal the area around the window.

3. Program Your Thermostat

By programming your thermostat properly throughout the day you can create a more energy efficient living space and reduce the cost of heating your home. Set your thermostat to a low temperature when you are away at work and while you are sleeping at night. Consider having a programmable thermostat installed so you can set it based on your lifestyle and manage it from your smart phone.

4. Cover Your Water Heater

A water heater blanket can reduce energy that is lost when the water inside the tank starts to cool down. These blankets cost about 50 dollars and will decrease the heat that is lost through the wall of the hot water tank. You can visit your local hardware or home improvement store and speak with a sales professional about the best blanket for your home. The potential savings from one of these blankets is about nine percent of the average cost to heat the water. You can also consider setting your heater to a lower temperature range to make your tank even more energy efficient.

5. Operate Your Appliances Efficiently

Read through the guides provided by the manufacturer for your appliances and make sure you are using them properly. When operating your dishwasher or clothes washer, be sure the loads are full before you begin a cycle. Set your refrigerator temperature to an efficient level setting of 37 degrees and set your freezer temperature to three degrees.