7 Resolutions for an Energy-Efficient Home
As 2017 winds to a close, many of us will spend time reflecting on the past year before setting some resolutions to clean the slate for 2018. We already know that most of these resolutions will be abandoned—a fact that does not deter our enthusiasm for improvement and new beginnings. To help increase your chances of success, Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning has put together seven resolutions that won’t require your attention every day. As a bonus, each should reduce energy consumption in your home, saving you money on bills.
- Get an energy audit. If you’re serious about reducing your home’s energy consumption, have an electrician perform an audit, making suggestions where improvements can be made. To get a ballpark estimate of how energy-efficient your home is, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Home Energy Yardstick Portal for a quick assessment.
- Install a programmable thermostat. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, especially if you’re upgrading from a non-digital thermostat. However, if you already have a programmable thermostat in your home and are in the habit of using it, branch out to a thermostat with more robust features. If used properly, programmable thermostats provide more accuracy and control of household cooling and heating.
- Keep up with HVAC maintenance. The HVAC system is the utility we spend the most on in our homes. It often runs day and night, so when it’s not operating efficiently it becomes a large expense. Yearly professional tune-ups are recommended by most HVAC manufacturers. During these visits, an HVAC professional inspects, cleans and makes minor adjustments as-needed to the system. This maintenance keeps the unit running at peak efficiency, costing you less money on energy through the seasons.
- Install and use ceiling fans. They’re a simple and cost-friendly addition to your home. If you don’t use your fans, they can’t help you save money and stay comfortable. By circulating high and low air in a room, fans help equalize temperature, potentially saving your heating or air conditioning systems from some of their work.
- Consider your insulation. If there are areas of your home that are not heated or cooled, such as an attic, garage or basement, the wall or ceiling separating the conditioned and unconditioned zones is a common area for home energy efficiency improvement. Upgrading insulation in your home is often a great way to reduce home energy consumption.
- Switch to low-flow faucets. If you’re thinking you have to turn your faucets into a trickle to realize a savings on this resolution, you’re wrong. The idea with water flow rate is to find the lowest acceptable flowrate. Even a small adjustment is worth the time. If you consider the amount of time the faucets and showers in your home spend open each year, it becomes easy to see the benefit of tuning your faucets.
- Upgrade your largest appliances. Aside from the HVAC system, your home’s largest appliances are most likely to be the washer, dryer, dishwasher and stove. Technological advancements and newer parts mean that today’s models consume less energy than older ones. If you factor potential repair costs in with the additional energy bill, buying replacements for these large appliances can pay for itself over time in energy savings.
New Year’s resolutions are a means of improvement, and though we can’t promise any of the seven above will help you make regular trips to the gym in 2018, they will improve your home’s energy savings, which is likely to improve your mood as well.