Keeping Your Home Energy Efficient

Thursday, September 26, 2013

There are two types of people in this world:  researchers and “just give me the answer” people.  More often than not, I tend to fall in the latter category.  If it is a topic that does not interest me, I would rather someone just told me the answer.  For example, when shopping for a product like a blender, I understand that there are many different types, but I don’t want to spend hours researching them all.  I would rather someone just tell me which one is the best.  For those of you who are also like this, this blog is for you.

When it comes to maximizing the efficiency of your home thinking about what needs to be done can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start.  Here is your answer.  I stumbled across an informational piece from Energy Star that gives an overview of what needs to be done to your home in order to keep it in tip top shape.  The article is targeted for Energy Star certified homes but the information can be applicable to all homes. Here is a brief summary:

What to do Right Away after Moving In:

These are especially important if you are just moving in, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t make these improvements if you have been living in your home for years!

  • Install/Program a Programmable Thermostat-A programmable thermostat only offers benefits if it is programmed correctly.  Therefore, take the time to set your thermostat to heat and cool your house when you want it to.  If you do not yet have one, you can manually change yours in accordance with your daily schedule or you could invest in a programmable thermostat.
  • Change the Lights- Try using CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights) or LED (Light Emitting Diodes) light bulbs instead of regular light bulbs.  These last much longer than incandescent light bulbs and use 75% less energy.


What to do Every Year:

Mark these on your calendar, whether it’s on your iPhone or hanging on your wall, these should be done on an annual basis!

  • Furnace and Air Conditioner Tune-Up/Inspection- For the safety of your home and family as well as the efficiency of the unit, it is important to have a furnace and air conditioner inspection each season.
  • Check Weather stripping- Check for leaky or drafty windows and doors to be sure that the weather stripping is still in good condition.  It can wear down, so it is good to keep an eye on it.

What to do Every 3 Months:

  • Change/Clean Air Filter- A dirty filter makes for an inefficient furnace or air conditioner as they have to work harder to push the same amount of air through a clogged space in order to heat or cool your home.  This extra effort can lead to breakdowns.

If you are interested in learning more, please check out the entire Energy Star article, “Energy Star Certified Homes Maintenance Guide and Tips to Ensure Top Performance.” For all you “researchers” out there, I hope this blog with the answers didn’t ruin your fun too much.  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about A.B. May's Home Energy Evaluations, furnace/air conditioner inspections or programmable thermostats, please contact us at 913-370-4898!