Save Vitality: Residence Vitality Effectivity Guidelines

Electricity bills are expected to rise in 2020, which, coupled with climate change concerns, is driving more homeowners to look into ways to save energy at home. Are you concerned about energy costs? Is the temperature of your home not as comfortable as you want it to be?

The following checklist for supplying energy to your home suggests measures that you can take to increase the energy efficiency of your home, reduce energy transmission and improve the general quality of life.

Chores for the winter

Get your year off to a good start by doing energy-related chores in and around your home this winter. Don’t wait for the weather to warm up. You can now save energy.

Get an energy audit

Schedule an energy audit for your home right away. An energy audit can help you determine the most effective changes you can make to reduce your energy use. While some changes will benefit most households, the rest of your improvements will be more effective if you know exactly which changes will benefit your home most.

Increase isolation

Do you have enough insulation for your climate? No matter what part of the country you live in, your home needs adequate insulation to be efficient. This Energy Star map will help you determine the right level of insulation for your climate zone. If your home is not adequately insulated, adding insulation will immediately improve your comfort and energy costs. Ideally, you should layer your insulation in the walls using a mixture of loft battens and either fill or spray foam (which can also act as an air barrier) so that your house is completely insulated.

Consider alternative heating sources

If your heating bills are your home’s largest energy bill, consider investing in an alternative heating source. Adding a pellet stove to your home can offset expensive heating bills while creating ambience and comfort. When it is time to upgrade your stove, consider switching to a geothermal heat pump, which uses the heat from the ground to warm your home and can dissipate your home’s heat into the ground for cooling. This is a much more efficient way of heating and cooling your home and can save you a lot of energy.

Seal your channels

If you use ducts to carry heat around your home, make sure they are well sealed this winter. Leaking ducts can lose up to 20 to 30 percent of the energy you use to heat your home. With properly sealed ducts, you use less energy to keep your home at the same temperature.

Chores for spring

Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash

When the weather gets warmer, follow these steps to maximize your energy potential before it gets hot.

Seal or replace your windows

Your windows can also cause energy losses. Depending on how old they are, replacing them can help reduce your energy consumption. However, sometimes all you need to do is seal your existing windows. Take a look at the outside of your windows. If you notice a lack of a seal, a quick bead silicone sealant can help stop some energy leaks.

Get your canals cleaned

The perfect time to clean your HVAC system is when you are not using it. A build-up of dirt can cause your air conditioner to work harder than necessary to heat and cool your home. By cleaning your canals, you can reduce this burden.

Vent your attic

Your attic is important to your home’s overall energy plan. In winter, the insulation blocks heat and moist air from the rooms below, while the attic ventilation keeps the attic air cold and protects against ice dams and roof damage. In the summer months, proper attic ventilation will help get superheated air out of the attic so that hot, humid air does not build up.

Tasks for the summer

Cool drink and fan, woman at the window in the background

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

If the weather warms up and you switch to air conditioning, these steps will help you combat rising energy costs.

Have your air conditioner serviced

Your air conditioner needs annual servicing to function at its best, but many people mistakenly skip this step to save money. Dirty air conditioners tend to work harder than necessary, which increases energy costs and can lead to coil freezes, leaks and clogs. Have your air conditioner serviced at the beginning of the season to keep it cool in the hot months with lower bills.

Install a water heater

Traditional water heaters use energy all the time to maintain a constant water temperature – even when you don’t need it. Instantaneous water heaters only heat water when you need it. By switching to continuous heating, you can reduce your energy consumption over the course of the year.

Tasks for the fall

Autumn scene of the White House and fallen leaves

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Before heading back for the winter, make sure your home is ready to fight the cold without your energy bills skyrocketing.

Change your HVAC filter

Depending on the type of filters you are using and the type of system you are using, you should replace your filter (or clean if you have a reusable filter) between once a month and once every six months. At a minimum, alternate your filter between summer and winter, the two busiest seasons for your system. A clogged filter makes your system work harder to pull air through the system, which in turn uses more energy.

Upgrade your thermostat

Your thermostat plays a big role in your energy consumption. A programmable model that allows you to determine when the heating or air conditioning is on can help you save energy. If your schedule is quite unpredictable, consider switching to a smart model that uses geotracking to detect when you are home or away. The system turns itself off once you leave the area so you don’t have to think about it.

Take control of your energy consumption

If you only do a few tasks per season, your home will be more comfortable and energy efficient all year round. Make 2020 the year you cut your energy bills and start the decade right.

About the author

Cristina Miguelez is a remodeling specialist at Fixr.com, a website that connects consumers with service professionals in their area and estimates the cost of remodeling projects. She writes on home improvement tips and tricks to help homeowners make better home remodeling decisions.

Feature image from Sindre Strøm from Pexels

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