Ways to Track and Reduce your Home Energy Consumption
- Look at your bill over a period of time. You will be able to see trends and monitor your savings for the items your contractor completed to save on energy usage.
- Use smart thermostats and modules for appliances for keeping energy usage down.
Heating and Cooling
- Choose an air conditioning system with a high seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). A unit with an SEER rating of 5 will cost two times as much to operate as one with an SEER of 10. The higher the SEER the more efficient it will be, which today can be up to 25 SEER.
- Choose a furnace with a 90% or higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) if you are looking to heat on a dime.
- As much as 40% of a home’s energy use can go towards heating and cooling. Make sure to have your furnace and condenser inspected yearly by a licensed contractor to ensure that it is operating efficiently, filters are replaced, and anything needing repaired is addressed so that it operates at its optimal level.
- If you are not looking to replace your expensive equipment you could also replace your ducts with an R-8 or better duct.
-And let’s face it, if you have a drafty house you might as well throw your money out the window. So, before you replace your full system get an energy audit to determine if you need to air seal or add attic or wall insulation.
-Make sure to talk to your contractor when determining which cooling and heating system is right for you.
-Also keep in mind the equipment is only as good as the install. Hire a competent C-20 contractor with plenty of experience with your type of home.
Save on energy usage with lighting and lighting control
-Managing your energy usage and consumption can help you save money. This can be done by installing lighting controls and retrofitting lighting into an existing home. This will also modernize your home.
- Choose energy efficient light bulbs such as fluorescent or better yet use LED.
- Install dimmers or occupancy sensors, this will not only save energy but will also extend the life of the bulbs.
- Place security and exterior lights on a photoelectric switch or timer. This will prevent the light fixtures from being left on when they are not needed.
Windows & window treatments
There are many type of windows so it’s best to talk to your contractor to figure out which is the best window for your area. Check out this link and see for yourself.
- On cold days close your drapes as they act as an insulator, like putting on a jacket on a cold day.
- When it comes to replacing windows the Return Of Investment (ROI) is quite a while, but, if combined with air sealing and new insulation you could see a great improvement on your comfort level.
Save on energy with Insulation and air sealing
- 50 percent of a home’s energy loss can be lost through uninsulated ceilings, walls, and floors.
- Get a building analysis or an energy audit to find out the R-value of your insulation. The higher the number, the more insulating qualities will be present.
- Have a contractor look for areas where caulking and weather stripping can be added to cut down on energy loss around windows, doors, and pipe penetrations.
- When you add some or all of the above types of changes to your home, you will see energy savings and increased comfort which then can be monitored with your monthly bill and not needing to have the air conditioner on as much during the day or not feeling a “draft” in a home where it used to be, etc.
Follow these steps and you will be on your way to saving money and using less energy.