Reduce Your Energy Bills
Find Out Where YOUR Home is Losing Energy:
Energy prices have been rising dramatically, and will continue to increase due to rising worldwide demand and a shrinking supply of energy. In 2008, energy bills accounted for nearly 16% of household income for the average U.S. household (26% for those eligible for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and categorized to be in poverty; 17% for LIHEAP eligible; 4% for others). While the price of energy is on the rise, you can fight back with energy saving upgrades, practicing conservation and switching to alternative energy sources.
Seal Air Leaks to Save Energy
Fifty percent of the energy used in an average American home goes toward heating or cooling. Heating or cooling more efficiently can have a huge positive impact on your home's energy conservation. One way to do that is by sealing the cracks and holes that allow air to leak into and out of your home.
- Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors.
- Replace poorly performing windows with new, energy efficient windows. If it's not in your budget to replace your windows, install storm windows or heavy-duty plastic window film to prevent heat transfer.
- Seal air leaks around plumbing, electrical wiring and ducts that penetrate exterior walls.
- Make sure the flue damper is closed tightly when the fireplace is not in use. Use a chimney balloon for extra energy efficiency.
Add Insulation - Not Just in the Attic!
While many homeowners tend to focus on adding insulation in the attic - which is very important - they shouldn't forget about the basement, crawl space or exterior walls. Many older homes let in a lot of outside air in the basement around floor joists, which makes your heating and cooling systems work harder - and costs you more on your energy bills. Seal up those air leaks and add insulation. Spray foam and cellulose insulation are better than fiberglass, because air flows through fiberglass.
Conserve Energy to Save On Your Energy Bills
One way to reduce your energy bills which won't cost you anything is to practice conservation.
- Replace your old thermostat with a new programmable thermostat - and use the settings or program it to adjust the temperature when you're away during the day or while you're sleeping. For each degree you raise your thermostat in the summer, or lower it in the winter, you save 1% on your energy bills.
- Replace the air filters on your furnace or air conditioner each month during heavy use periods. It will keep your system running more efficiently and reduce your operating costs.
- If you have hot water radiators, bleed them at least once during the winter to keep them running at optimal efficiency. If you notice that your radiators aren't heating up, or are cool to the touch, there is likely air trapped inside. Bleed the radiators to solve the problem.
- Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
- Cook or reheat food in the microwave or toaster-over rather than the stove or oven.
- For more energy saving tips, see these solutions for high energy bills
Buy ENERGY STAR Appliances
If you're buying new appliances or equipment for your home, look for the ENERGY STAR logo. ENERGY STAR qualified products are more energy efficient than standard models, without sacrificing any functionallity. When you buy any appliance or piece of electronic equipment, remember that there are two costs - the purchase price and the operating cost. While some energy efficient products may cost more at the cash register, they will save you money in the long run with reduced operating costs.
More Energy Saving Tips
For more energy saving tips, consult the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savers Booklet. To get a comprehensive energy evaluation of your home and customized recommendations to improve your home's energy efficiency, schedule a home energy assessment today!
Home Energy Problems & Solutions:
- Reduce High Energy Bills Energy Efficiency, Home Improvement Tools
- Drafty Rooms Air sealing, Heating and Cooling Contractor
- Peeling Paint Control moisture, Building Science Specialist
- Mold, Mildew or Musty Odors Reducing Indoor Humidity
- Dust Sealing air leaks, Change Filters
- Hot or Cold Rooms Room over a garage, ENERGY STAR ceiling fans
- Damp Basement Stop water leaks, Ventilation Fans
- Moisture on Windows Control Moisture, ENERGY STAR Labeled Windows
- Dry Indoor Air in Winter Home Sealing, Diagnostic Equipment
- Cold Floors in Winter Basement floor, Floor over a crawlspace
- Ice Dams Roofing Contractor, Diagnostic Equipment
We were unaware of what was involved in an energy audit and your audior took the time to explain everything. We were impressed with the report which told us the areas in which we need to take action on. He never pressured us to use any particular contractors, he just suggested that we go to the HomeEnergyTeam web site to select contractors of our own choice. He did an excellent job and we HIGHLY recommend the Home Energy Team. We already have recommended them to several of our neighbors. Again, EXCELLENT JOB!
The Home Energy Team auditor was very knowledgeable. I was VERY HAPPY with him. He promptly E-mailed my energy audit report to me and I will consider all of his recommendations.
We found out that our house really has no energy problems. We are happy to know that we
I was very satisfied with your energy auditor. He was very qualified and spent a great deal of time with me. The energy audit was very informative.
The energy auditor was very good and helpful. He keeps in touch with me to answer any of my questions.
I was very satisfied with my energy audit. The auditor gave me some tips on attic insulation that were very helpful.
I was very satisfied with my energy audit. Thank you!
Very good service! I am going to replace the windows as the auditor had suggested.
I was very happy with the energy audit. THANKS!
My energy audit was very helpful. Joe Dempsey, your auditor, identified some structural problems that I was not aware of and explained to me why I need more insulation.
The auditor was EXCELLENT! He spent ALOT of time with me. I am going to take 3 to 4 of his suggestions and correct these small items to save on my energy bills.
The auditor did a GREAT JOB! He knew a lot about older homes, which we have. The report was very comprehensive. Thank you!
Your energy auditor was very nice and helpful. He answered all of our questions. We will recommend Home Energy Team to our friends and neighbors.
The auditor did a TERRIFIC JOB! The report was FANTASTIC! I will make all the repairs he suggested. I will definitely recommend him to everyone I know that could benefit from a home energy audit.
Steve Sleigh, Chevy Chase
The energy auditor was very professional and I am very satisfied with both the energy audit and the report I received. I will be referring the Home Energy Team.
I was very satisfied with the auditor. He was great and gave me some very valuable information. I will refer him to people I know who may need a home energy audit.
Your home energy audit proved to be very informative and helpful. I was not aware of the updraft created inside our walls because of the balloon framing construction. You said that that can cause heat to be pulled out of the house with the draft going up inside the walls and should be re-mediated. You also said that the attic insulation was insufficient and that fiberglass batts can leave spaces for around the edges causing heat loss and that it should have blown in insulation on top of what was there to seal the whole attic and increase the r factor. After going over your findings and telling me how you would fix the problems you told me how I could do it myself with stuff from the Home Center and for a quarter of the cost. Well, I did. I went into the basement and filled the bottom of the wall joist with unfaced insulation where they set on the sill plate. I then cut one inch foam board the size for each space and set it in and the sealed the edges of that with expanding foam as well as the sill plate to the foundation. I also sealed the sill plate to the foundation where the joist ran along it, as well as the top of those joist where it made contact with the subflooring. Next I went to the home center and rented their blown insulation machine and got ten bales of the insulation. I filled the attic on top of the batt insulation with about six inches giving another r-19 factor on top of the r-19 that was there. You said that the blown in would also help seal the heat loss around the edges of the batt. The work in the basement cost $144.00 and the work in the attic cost $328.00. After the 30% federal energy tax credit it will end up costing me about $330.00, which you said I should recover in savings in the first year. Thank You for all your advice and expertise. You made me aware of things I should consider and did.