Part of being a homeowner in Fayetteville, North Carolina, means receiving utility bills. When they’re high, though, it can frustrate you beyond words. Fortunately, you can employ your ingenuity to take control of your home’s energy usage. With a combination of smart habits, simple projects and a professional hand, you can build an energy-efficient home that’s easy on the utility costs. Here’s how you can start:
Seal Off Airflow
One of the greatest threats to your energy efficiency is air loss. When air escapes through leaks, your HVAC system must work harder to make up the difference. Because of this, your first step in building an energy-efficient home should be to seal your home’s thermal envelope. That should include everything that separates the air in your house from the air outdoors, such as your walls, doors, windows and insulation.
Check these areas often for drafts. Seal air leaks immediately by placing weatherstripping along door frames and caulk around windows. If you have unfinished areas in your home, such as an attic, consider adding insulation in that space.
Cut Off Vampire Energy
Some of the most dangerous threats to energy efficiency come from sources that seem harmless. Hopefully, you do a good job of turning off your electronics when you’re not using them. But if you really want to build energy efficiency, that’s not enough.
Electronics and small appliances still sap energy when they’re turned off. As a result, they add to your utility costs without you enjoying any of their benefits. HVAC professionals call this invisible threat "vampire energy."
Cut off vampire energy by either unplugging your electronics when you’re not using them or by plugging them into a power strip. You’ll then want to turn off the strip when you’re finished, which cuts off the power flow.
Install a Ceiling Fan
Installing a ceiling fan is one of those weekend projects that handy homeowners love to take on. Ceiling fans can’t replace the power and efficiency of an HVAC system, but they can supplement your air conditioner and heater.
When you run a ceiling fan during the summer, you can turn your thermostat up 4 degrees without feeling any difference in comfort. That subtle change in temperature is enough to take strain off the system, improve energy efficiency and reduce utility costs.
Change Your Air Filter
The air filter in your HVAC system does more than improve your indoor air quality. It also affects your energy efficiency.
When an air filter gets clogged by dust, dir, and other particles, it inhibits airflow and forces the system to work harder. To prevent your air filter from negatively impacting your energy efficiency, replace it once a month.
Watch the Thermostat Setting
You don’t need to break out the tools and draw up a plan for every energy-efficient building task. One of the most effective ways to improve energy efficiency is through habits that conserve and maximize energy usage.
You can start by adjusting your thermostat settings to reduce strain on your system. The closer your thermostat setting is to the temperature outside, the less effort your system has to put into maintaining comfort. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter when you’re at home and awake. Depending on the season, turn it up or down when you’re away or asleep.
Replace Your Ducts
Just as air leaks can form around windows and doors, they can also occur along your ductwork. Every time your HVAC system pumps air through leaky ducts, you might as well throw money out the window.
You shouldn’t install, repair or maintain the ducts yourself. Instead, call on your local HVAC service technician to replace your ductwork for you. Doing so will improve energy efficiency, indoor air quality and keep you safe.
Don’t deal with high utility costs any longer. Take control of your energy efficiency with a combination of busy hands, efficient habits and a professional touch. For experienced help improving your HVAC efficiency, call Bass Air Conditioning Company at 910-778-1536.
Image provided by Shutterstock