As winter sets in now is a great time to think about ways in which you can conserve energy and avoid heat loss in your home. Not only is it better for the environment, but you’ll save a few bucks too. Our expert Realtor, Deb Sarsany of The Deb Sarsany Team at The Real Estate Group in Springfield, IL, has 20 years’ experience in the industry and has seen a thing or two when it comes to maintaining an energy (or not so) efficient home.
Here are a few things you can do to make an immediate difference:
- Turn down the temp of your water heater to a warm setting of around (120 degrees). You’ll save scolding your hands and reduce the energy needed to heat the water.
- Make sure your water heater has an insulating blanket. The money you save in energy costs will be far greater than the cost of the blanket.
- Have your furnace or heat pump maintained by a professional at least once a year. And look for the Energy Star label if you ever need to replace your furnace or heat pump.
- Turn off the lights in unused rooms. If your kids are terrible at remembering to switch off a light when they leave the room you could consider installing timers or sensors.
- Unplug equipment that drains energy when not in use such as cell phone chargers, fans, coffee machines and desktop printers, for example.
- Install a thermostat that can be adjusted according to your schedule. Many now come with apps so that if your schedule changes you can adjust the temperature from your cell phone on your way to or from home.
- In winter open blinds on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Don’t forget to close them at night to reduce the chill.
- Seal leaky windows with rope caulk or add film to the glass.
- Insulate your hot water pipes.
- Insulate heating ducts in your attic and/or crawl space.
- Seal air leaks in the home, such as the unused doggy door or cat flap, gaps around the chimney, or unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
- Replace aging or inefficient appliances.
- Replace old light bulbs with LEDs.
- Have a contractor check you have enough insulation in the attic.
You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference a combination of these will make to the energy efficiency of your home and the reduction in your heating and electricity bills. For more information or ideas visit energy.gov