Written by Laura Wise. As we approach the end of the summer season, now is a good time to review and evaluate all that you’ve spent over the past few months to keep your home cool. Recognizing that energy leaks can lead to higher bills and can affect your home and your wallet in any extreme temperature, hot or cold. Now is the time to consider home-energy efficiency improvements you might be able to take advantage of before the winter weather sets in.
Utility Expenses – Have you spent more this year than last evaluate your usage. Here are some of the things you can do to improve energy efficiency:
An easy first task is to seal any gaps that might be found around your windows or doors, as well as in your attic or basement. Replacing the caulking or using rubber insulation around entryways can be a messy yet fairly simple task, and spray foam insulation is a quick and easy way to plug larger gaps that might appear around the foundation of your home.
Repair Duct Leaks – The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that roughly one-fifth of the air that is transferred throughout your home via forced-air systems is lost through leaks in ductwork. Duct sealant is available at most home improvement stores and can be an easy fix to repairing these leaks.
Install Thermostat Control – Programmable thermostats allow for more controlled costs on heating and cooling bills. You can program them to at home hours. If conservatively programmed, these devices can contribute anywhere from 5-15% savings in costs per year.
Replace Old Windows & Doors – Installing higher-efficiency windows and doors in your home can lead to less energy waste for years to come. While certainly a higher cost than other improvements, replacing old windows and hollow metal doors is one of the best investments you can make to your house. If this type of project seems outside of your budget range, consider applying for energy financing as a way to supplement the cost, and you may find the ability to make other, significant energy efficiency improvements as well.
Any of these improvements that can be made done the DIY-way contribute to reducing home-related expenditures. Additionally, any number of home energy efficiency improvements should be considered as investments to the overall value of your home — particularly those greater in cost.
If all else fails turn down the thermostat, put some sweats on and snuggle