There’s been a big shift over the last decade to make our homes more energy efficient, and it’s something I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. By building and maintaining energy efficient homes, not only are you using less energy to keep your home running (which means money saved every month), you’re also taking a step to reduce your carbon footprint to ensure that our earth is here for generations to come. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your home is energy efficient this winter.
1. Add More Insulation
If you’re really struggling to keep the heat in your home during those cold winter nights, it may have insufficient insulation. A licensed home inspector with a thermal imaging camera can walk you through your house and find where you’re losing most of your heat - and help you determine if it’s time to add some more insulation.
2. Replace Caulking and Weatherstripping
This is a project you want to tackle in the fall - but if you’re noticing cold spots around your doors and windows in the wintertime, replace any worn or weathered caulking and weatherstripping. It’s a quick job that can help keep the heat where it belongs.
3. Install Programmable Thermostats
Smart homes are all the rage right now - and for good reason. With a programmable thermostat, you can control the temperature in your home right from your phone. You can easily turn the temperature down when you’re not there, and bring it back up when you’re home.
4. Set a Timer
If you’re not quite ready to make the change over to a fully smart home, consider putting manual timers on your lights and appliances. This way, you can have them automatically power down when they aren’t likely to be in use. Do these appliances really need power during the day when you’re at work or late at night while you’re asleep? Probably not.
5. Switch To LED
If you haven’t made the switch yet - stop holding on to your old incandescent bulbs. There’s been tons of advancement in LED lighting, so you don’t have to worry about having a light that’s too harsh anymore, and they only use about 10% of the electricity that incandescent bulbs use. Making the switch is a bright idea.
6. Keep Your Systems Running Smoothly
Don’t neglect the regular maintenance your house needs to keep it running smoothly. Check and change the filters in your HVAC system regularly (in the winter, I check mine monthly). The filter is meant to keep the system working efficiently, so if you’ve got a clogged filter, all you’re doing is forcing the furnace to work harder than it has to.
7. Renovate for the Future
Instead of opting for a new kitchen - think about adding a few green upgrades as your next renovation project. Look into adding solar panels, geothermal heating systems, or other projects that will help make your home a net-zero home (one that produces as much energy as it uses). To me, that’s the sign of a real dream home.