The How to For Energy Efficient Homes
Energy-efficiency is such a hot button topic in today's society buzzing with talk about climate change and skyrocketing energy costs. So what you can do to ensure that your home is energy efficient?
* Change the filter on your heating/air conditioning unit on a regular basis: This is a particularly poignant point during month of heavy use (meaning the winter and summer months). When you unit works harder, you need to change to filter more often to ensure maximum efficiency. Whenever you check the air filter on your unit, if it looks dirty, go ahead and change it. A dirty air filter will limit the flow of air, making your unit work harder than it needs to, which results in higher energy bills for you! Moreover, dirty filters allow dirt to build up inside of the system, which can lead to major problems (read: repairs) down the road.
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How to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible
Believe it or not, there are some small steps that can be taken to have a more energy efficient home. Here are four of the most important steps you can take.
* Just your like your car, get your heating and air conditioning unit a regular tune up: At least once a year, schedule an HVAC professional to come out and fine tune your heating and air system. Let them check the unit and talk with them about any problems and/or inconveniences you may have experienced, particularly during months of heavy use. This will not only improve the overall efficiency of the unit, but ensure that it lasts much longer. You might also consider investing in Energy Star heating and air conditioning equipment for optimal energy efficiency in your home.
* Invest in a thermostat that is programmable: This really contributes to an energy efficient home, particularly for people who aren't home during long periods of time. Through pre-programmed settings, you can have your thermostat adjust itself depending on the temperature inside of the home. This not only serves to keep your home at a reasonable temperature while you are away, but can save you hundreds of dollars annually for your energy costs.
* Seal all of the ducts in your home: The ducts in your home act as over large vessels moving air through the entire HVAC system. And they are usually one of the biggest culprits of wasted energy. So, seal and insulate them to have a more energy efficient heating system. You might have a professional come do this, but if you are handy around the home, using some duct sealant or metal backed tape, start in the attic and work your way to the unheated basement or garage of your home. Be sure to insulate them as well to avoid the ducts getting too hot during summer or too cold in winter. Once you have done this, go ahead and seal the ducts in the interior of your home.