Have a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit is an excellent way to pinpoint any energy leaks inside your home. You can do it yourself or hire a professional. Look for air leaks around doors and windows, inadequate insulation, and check the energy efficiency of your major appliances. If you have the budget, opt for a professional energy audit. The home inspector will have specialized equipment to achieve a more thorough assessment of your home’s energy weak spots. This includes thermal imagery and exact airflow measuring devices. These exact tools will reveal exactly how much your energy leaks are costing you in monthly heating and cooling bills.
Stop Air Leaks
Air leaks around your home’s doors and windows are a major source of wasted energy. According the US department of Energy, 20 percent of your home’s heating and cooling energy is wasted through air leakage. For older homes with cracked windows and damaged caulking, air leakage can cost even higher. Interior air leaking is another issue that is often overlooked. Air leaking from cold to warm areas or vice versa inside your home will waste previous energy. Make sure to inspect caulking around interior doors, properly seal all ductwork and fill gaps around switches and electrical outlets. Install draft catchers under doors for added protection.
Upgrade to Energy Efficient Windows
One of the best ways to reduce wasted energy is upgrading to newer energy efficient windows. These windows incorporate special features to help separate the cold or war air inside your home from the outside air. In multipane windows, two or more panes of glass are separated by an insulating gas such as argon. This improves the window’s U-factor and prevents heat from escaping to the outside. Another method commonly used is glass tinting. Tinted windows reduce glare and lower the window’s Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). A lower SHGC indicates higher resistance to the effect of sunlight on raising your home’s indoor temperature.
Install a Tankless Water Heater
Replacing your regular hot water heater with a tankless water heater will reduce your energy bills significantly. Tankless water heaters only heat water only as needed. They can cost 3-5 times more than conventional water heaters and require costly upgrades to your home’s plumbing and electrical systems. However if you can afford it, a tankless water heater is a wise investment.
Use Reflective Insulation
Reflective insulation helps reduce the heating effect of the sun’s solar radiation inside your home. It works by bouncing the sun’s heat away from your home. This reduces the cooling costs during the hot summer months. Reflective insulation is usually thinner than regular insulation. It is composed of a reflective metal surface such as aluminum attached to a wooden backing. By combining reflective insulation with regular insulation, you can enjoy year round protection for your home.