Home Upgrades: Energy Efficiency

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 31 May, 2013
Inspect your home for common energy wasters, and you’ll have a better idea of where to focus your time and money in upgrades. You’ll cut the cost of your monthly bills, as well as potentially prevent expensive future upgrades and repairs. Check for air leaks in the basement. It’s easy to spot leaks during the […] The post Home Upgrades: Energy Efficiency appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
  1. Check for air leaks in the basement.It’s easy to spot leaks during the daytime by turning off all the lights in the basement and looking for spots where light comes through. Look for air leaks around doors, windows and vents. Replace doors and windows when necessary, and seal leaks with weatherstripping, caulk or spray foam.
  2. Inspect your furnace and water heater.If your furnace is older than 25 years, it’s most likely worth replacing it for a more energy-efficient model, preferably one with the Energy Star symbol. Look for leaks around your water heater, and inspect the flue pipe to make sure all sections seem well connected. If your water heater is older than 20 years, you’ll want to consider an upgrade to a more efficient unit.
  3. Inspect ductwork.Make sure all ducts are connected tightly with no visible gaps. If you find disconnected ducts, reconnect the ducts and seal them with mastic tape.
  4. Inspect the insulation in the attic.This guide from the Department of Energy offers a great explanation of how to inspect insulation, check its depth and determine R-value.
  5. Inspect windows.Look for signs of rot on the windowsill. If you spot lots of rot, you may have to replace the windows. The high price of replacing windows may not justify the amount of energy savings, even over many years. Whenever possible, instead look at options like applying a chemical coating or installing awnings as a way to better insulate windows.
  6. Consider the age and quantity of appliances.If an appliance is older than 20 years, upgrade to a more energy-efficient model. If you have more than one refrigerator or freezer, consider if you can downgrade to just one.
  7. Replace incandescent bulbs.Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact-fluorescent lamps/ LED light bulbs is one of the easiest energy upgrades you can make and it’s also one of the most cost-effective, energy-saving measures.
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Photo Credit, aeu04117

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