One of the biggest expenses when owning a home is the utility bill each month. Whether it’s keeping the house cool in the summer or warm in the winter, it costs you. One of our team members recently had a home energy audit done on their home and found out there are some very easy ways to save money on heating and cooling expenses. Some are ones you may have heard of before but some were news to us! So, in no particular order, here are 5 ways you can save energy (and money) in your home that you can probably do yourself.
1. Foam electrical outlet and wall plate insulation for all exterior wall outlets.
It was shocking to see how much air flows through the electrical outlets on the exterior walls of the house. You can find the insulation kits at every big box hardware store and they are so simple to install.
Don’t worry about doing this to any of the interior outlets and wall plates. You would just be wasting time and money.
2. Insulating around bathroom ventilation fan boxes.
This was one tip our team member got from the energy audit that we never even thought of! You would be amazed at how much heat is transferred through and around the bathroom ventilation fan box.
To help minimize the loss of heat, remove the fan box cover and add weatherstripping around the edge of the cover.
Put the cover back on. Do this in every bathroom and you will notice how much better it seals around it, again, saving you money.
3. Caulking around outside of all windows and doors.
Now we are sure most of you know to check the exterior windows and doors at least once a year and to replace bad weatherstripping and re-caulk where needed but, do you actually do it? Well you should.
One small gap can suck the warm or cool air right out of your house. Plus, that is an open door to bugs and other critters. If the windows are up high, you may consider hiring someone to do this for you. Make sure they are licensed and bonded too. The savings in energy costs will more than likely pay for their service.
4. Changing the furnace filter regularly.
This is another easy do-it-yourself project. If you have kids, pets or even lots of visitors in your home, you may want to set it up in your calendar to check, and probably replace, your furnace filter monthly. Even those filters that claim to be good for 3 or more months can get filled up quickly depending on your conditions. Also, if you have just completed a big remodeling project in your home, the filter can get clogged up more quickly than normal, causing your furnace to have to work harder because of the restricted airflow. Your heating and A/C system will run much more efficiently with clean filters, meaning less energy consumption and lower energy bills.
5. Put LED Lights in can lighting and outside lights.
This was by far the most eye opening advice we heard from the home energy audit. When the gentleman conducting the audit pointed his infrared scanner, that measures surface temperatures, at one of the can lights in the kitchen, it read over 300 degrees! Now, multiply that by the 7 recessed lights in this particular kitchen and the number is mind blowing! That is a lot of heat being poured into the house don’t you think? Now, think about how hard the A/C unit has to work during the hottest days of summer to cool that much heat back down. The government is making it easier for us to make the switch to LED bulbs by making some sizes of incandescent bulbs obsolete so, this could just be the shove you need to get it done.
He also mentioned how much it was probably costing us to keep our outside lights on all night using traditional incandescent bulbs. His advice was to change out any bulb that you have on over a half hour a day to the more efficient LED bulbs.
So, there you have it, 5 easy ways you can keep your hard earned money in your pocket as well as keep your home comfortable.
Have your own energy saving tips? Share them with us in the comments below.
Karen & Company Realty is one of the top real estate leaders in Douglas County, CO. Ranked the #1 Real Estate Agent in Parker, Colorado in 2013, 2014 & 2015 and the #1 Real Estate Agent in Stonegate Village for over 9 years! Should you have a need for assistance with either buying or selling in the area, we’d love to help! Please give us a call at 303-798-2290, email us at [email protected] or click here to contact us.