When it comes to running an energy efficient home, both your plumbing and your heating/cooling systems make up the majority of costs you’ll spend on your home each year. With just a few simple strategies, you can reduce your energy bills a significant amount, and make your home more comfortable in the process.
Schedule regular maintenance tune-ups for both your plumbing and HVAC systems
Each season, your HVAC and plumbing systems go through a lot of stress providing you with the comforts of home. By hiring a contractor to come in and maintain your plumbing and HVAC systems regularly, you can keep them in proper working order, and fixing small problems before they have the chance to become larger, more expensive ones. At a minimum, bring in a contractor before the warm summer months and the cold winter months.
Check filters monthly
Make checking and replacing air filters a regular routine. While its good practice to check your air filters every month, they might not need changing that frequently. Write the date on the filter itself so you remember when you last replaced it. Dirty air filters will allow your HVAC system to run on a more efficient basis, and will help improve your indoor air quality too.
Use programmable thermostats
By using a programmable thermostat, you won’t “forget” to turn down the temperature when you leave from home. The DOE estimates that for every degree you turn down the heat during an 8 hour period, you’ll save approximately 1 percent on your energy bill.
Turn down your water heater
Most water heaters come pre-programmed for 140°F; turn it down to a more cost efficient 120°F. Not only will you save energy, but you can also prevent scalding, especially important if you have small children or elderly living at home. Also consider purchasing a recirculating system that will give you instant hot water on demand, taking away the inefficiencies of letting the water run to warm it up.
Close down your fireplace flue damper
Unless you have a fire roaring in the fireplace, make sure you have the flue damper closed and sealed to keep conditioned air from escaping through the chimney.
Check your water meter for leaks
The average US home has water leaks that add up to 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year. In order to reduce your home’s water usage, fix leaks as soon as you find them. Also perform a water main leak check any time you think you may have a water leak, but can’t find where it originates. This simple test will tell you if you need further investigation.
Check for air leaks
The seals around your doors and windows will naturally break down over time, and cause you to lose on average up to 20 percent of your home’s conditioned air. Replace old weatherstripping and caulk as necessary to seal leaks.
Have additional questions about how your home can go green? Give us a call today and schedule an energy audit for your home. We’ll quickly show you the best ways to improve your home’s efficiency.