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Why An Energy Efficient Home in CO is a Safer Home
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average size of homes in the U.S. has increased by 30%, but these new homes consume about the same amount of energy as older homes do. Why is that? Products that are more energy efficient are being used to build these homes. While building a new home might not be in the cards for you, there are still things you can do to make your home safer and more energy efficient.
Inspect Your Home For Leaks
Identifying spots where you feel air coming in from the outside is the first step in making your home more energy efficient. Key places to check include around the doorways and windows, as well in your basement or attic.
Can’t find the leak?
Call in the professionals. They will use simulated wind to find the trouble areas around doors and windows in your home that are letting the heat and cold air out. They will also do a visual check for cracks or other potential areas that could be allowing heat or cold air to escape. Plus, these are areas where pests can invade your home, causing damage and illness.
Fixing the leak
If the leak is small, consider using caulk to fill the holes or cracks. Replacing weather stripping on windows and doors can also help protect your family against drafts.
Use Proper Insulation
Check the efficiency of your home’s insulation as this is another major culprit of heat loss. If your home lacks energy efficient insulation in your attic floor, walls, and ceiling, as well as your basement ceiling, you are most likely losing heat. Consider adding new insulation to these areas to help reduce the loss of heat.
Think About Your Heating and Cooling System
While many people often don’t give a second thought to the source of their heat in the winter or air in the summer there are often little things that can be checked which could save you a bundle. Plus, inspecting your heating and cooling systems ensures they are safe to use.
Seal the Ducts
The EPA estimates that, in most homes, about one-fifth of the air circulated in forced air and cooling system escapes through tiny leaks. Preventing this loss of air by using duct sealant on any ducts that are exposed will help reduce increased energy consumption.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
While it might seem expensive at first, installing a programmable thermostat can pay for itself quickly because you are able to program it to turn on and off at times when you or your family are not home.
During high usage times, such as winter and summer, your filter should be checked regularly -- if the filter has visible dirt it is time to change it. A dirty filter causes reduced air flow, which causes your system to work harder and consume more energy. Replacing your filter often, it is suggested that you do so every three months, can help prevent against heavy dust and dirt buildup throughout your whole system that can cause expensive maintenance or even a premature system failure.
Replace Old Systems with Energy Star Products
If your home has an old heating and cooling system, consider replacing it as soon as you can with Energy Star efficiency rated products. If you cannot afford a new system, be sure to keep the one you have in good condition by scheduling regular service checks. If you are unsure of how efficient your heating and cooling system is, there are tests, such as combustion analyzers and gas detectors, which can be performed on it to ensure that the unit is in good working order. Leaks and other issues can lead to serious consequences, including damages and illnesses.
Take Advantage of New Technology
New technologies and advancements in energy efficient products, make it possible to not only control many aspects of your home from your smartphone, it also allows for homes that are more energy efficient to be more appealing to buyers.
You can now connect your HVAC, security, lighting systems, entertainment systems and more to be centrally controlled or even remotely controlled by your smartphone. This means you can turn lights off that might have been left on or control your thermostat, giving you the ability to reduce your electricity consumption without having to be home to do so. You can also turn on your security if you rushed out of the house to keep the premises safer.
Importance of a Home Energy Audit
Just like your car needs to be serviced, so does your home. It is important to keep your house as energy efficient as possible. A home energy audit can help you identify and find solutions to trouble areas in your home. It might seem expensive to have an audit completed, but it will save you money in the long run.
Understanding what goes on during a home energy audit is crucial to being able to use the information provided to make the necessary changes to ensure your home is as energy efficient as it can be. Once you have made the changes you can also look into the various types of rebates the government and other organizations have for individuals who maintain energy efficient homes.
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