While some people are concerned about making exterior home improvements that will boost their curb appeal, you’re thinking about today. You’d like to start saving money on your house, yet somehow, your energy bill continues to rise. You turn off the lights when you leave rooms and don’t use too much water when you shower or brush your teeth. Still, your energy bill gets higher and higher. You need to make a change before winter comes. Try some home improvement projects that increase energy efficiency without breaking the bank.
Replace Old Appliances
Appliances that are older than 15 years are considered outdated. You should replace worn-out appliances as needed. Look for the Energy Star logo when shopping for new appliances. Ones with fewer features use less energy and will cost you less money down the road. Since it is expensive to replace all your appliances at once, you should begin with the ones that eat up most of your energy bill. Appliances that use up the most energy include:
- Washing machines
- Air conditioners
Upgrade Your Lighting
One of the easiest ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency is by switching your bulbs to LEDs or CFLs, which can last up to 25 times longer than regular bulbs. Energy Star LED bulbs are 90 percent more energy-efficient than regular bulbs, and they glow brighter too. You can easily switch out all the light bulbs in your home in one day.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
If your home has ceiling fans, you should use them to circulate air through your home. You can reduce how much you use your HVAC or air conditioner by turning on your ceiling fan. Ceiling fans do not cost much to operate, but the benefits of having and using one pay off. The fan circulates the air, so it feels cooler, and you won’t need to use your air conditioner as much.
Install a Modern Thermostat
Believe it or not, you can control the temperature in your home with a timer. With an adjustable thermostat, you can schedule what time of day you’d like your home to be at a certain temperature. For instance, if no one is in your home for eight hours in the middle of the day, you won’t want to pump in cool air and waste energy. You can decide to turn the air conditioning on half an hour before you get home, so the house is cool just for you.
Fix Your HVAC
Some rooms in your home may never feel comfortable if your HVAC has a problem. If you notice that certain rooms feel hotter or colder than others, something could be clogging your ducts. Debris from outside can get sucked up into your HVAC and make its way through your ducts. You should have your system inspected yearly to ensure it is clear of dust and dirt. Further, you’ll want to make sure your ducts are properly sealed, so they do not leak.
Sufficiently Insulate Your House
Many older homes lack proper insulation. The most common place for heat to escape from a home is a roof. Hire a roofing expert to inspect your roof and add an extra layer of insulation. You don’t want to lose heat in the winter, or your energy bill will skyrocket. Another place to check for insulation issues is your siding. Damaged siding can leak heat from your home in the winter, and therefore should be repaired or replaced immediately.
Repair Your Roof
You can use binoculars to inspect the top of your roof for damage. Missing, cracked, or out-of-shape shingles should be fixed to prevent water damage. One damaged shingle can easily lead to another. If you notice damage to your roof, consult with a professional. You can hurt yourself while scaling a roof. Roof repair is best left to the professionals.
Seal Your Windows
When you notice drafts around your home, it could be due to poorly sealed windows. If your windows have any cracks, they might leak air. You may notice if you feel it or see your curtains moving. Since multiple things can cause your energy bill to rise, you may not notice if your damaged windows are part of the problem. You can start by sealing your windows with caulk to see if that helps prevent drafts.
Get New Windows
Replace old windows with new energy-efficient ones. You should choose double-paned glass that will better insulate your home so you can control the temperature. Hire Sister Siding window and siding contractors to ensure your windows are installed correctly. New windows are better at protecting your home from storms, including wind, rain, and hail. Additionally, you might consider investing in large windows if you want to use more natural light. Natural light may help you cut down on energy use from light bulbs.
Inspect Your Doors
Like your windows, your doors may be damaged and secretly increasing your energy bill. If you notice a draft near your door or see any gaps between the door and the frame, you may need to repair it. Add weather stripping to fill gaps in your door so you don’t lose cool air in the summer or heat during the winter.
Buy Energy-Efficient Doors
If your doors are old, you should consider replacing them. Many old doors are made of wood, which isn’t as energy-efficient as modern steel or fiber-cement doors. As always, look for the Energy Star logo when making decisions. If you’re considering a sliding glass patio door, be aware that it can leak energy even when sealed.
Pro Tip: Maintain your doors! Weather stripping wears off over time and should be replaced as needed.
Reduce Water Usage
One of the most obvious ways to reduce water usage in your home is to simply use less. Not all households are easy to monitor, though. To help, you can install low-flow plumbing, including toilets, faucets, and showerheads. Further, you can try a tankless water heater that supplies hot water on demand rather than keeping a supply of it around.
The home improvement projects that increase energy efficiency don’t have to be the most expensive. Many ways to save energy involve maintaining your home—for example, by repairing the roof, windows, and doors. You can avoid expensive home improvements by maintaining your home throughout the year and performing a routine inspection at least once annually. You can trust your local experts to help you identify exterior damage to your home that you should fix right away. Contact Sister Siding today for a free estimate.