Lifestyle Design

Easy Energy-Efficient Home

Energy efficiency affects everybody.  Energy efficiency also saves you money and there isn’t anyone who couldn’t use more of that. Products that use less electricity, water and heat are good products to have in your home.

Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to checking their homes for places where they can tighten up. Call your local power company. Many offer free home inspections for energy efficiency. They will give you a report and might suggest ways to solve your energy problems.

Here are a few ways that you can help with that process.

1. Look at your energy bills. Many give you a breakdown of how much energy you use each month. They also compare that energy usage with the same month a year ago. If your energy has increased, something needs to be done. If you energy bill was already too high, find ways to bring down the cost.

2. Take inventory of your daily activities around the home. Do you wash dishes with the water running? Are you washing clothes even if you don’t have a full load? Do the lights and televisions stay on all the time? All of these things add up to energy inefficiency.

3. How are the seals around your doors and windows? Old houses have single pane windows that are not as energy efficient as double or triple paned ones. If you window forms condensation when you cook in the kitchen, that’s a sign that the air is coming in contact with colder air somewhere and forming droplets. Check all entryways and windows for drafts.

4. Clean vents. In bathrooms it’s easy for vent fans to get clogged with dust. In air ducts, change the filter every three months to avoid too much dust in the air. The air conditioning has to work harder to cool the home if there is a dirty filter or the vents are not cleared of dirt and dust.

5. Change your light bulbs. Compact Fluorescents (CFL’s)— the squiggly, coiled bulbs that generate light by heating gases in a glass tube — are generally considered to use more than 50 percent less energy and to last several times longer than incandescent bulbs.

An energy efficient home saves money. Everyone can do their part to lower bills and reduce the use of fossil fuels. Take a trip through your home and see what ways you can start right now.

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