Drafty windows, leaky faucets, dirty air filters; are all common issues in homes across the country and they are not just annoying, they also cost you money in decreased energy efficiency and higher bills.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program estimates that homeowners can save 5% to 30% on annual energy costs by incorporating technologies to make their homes operate more efficiently. Think that is not a big deal? Over the lifetime of this program that started in 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped Americans save $350 in energy costs. In 2019, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save nearly 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $39 billion in energy costs.
Sounds pretty good to us. Even if you are not the handiest person when it comes to home maintenance, checking your energy efficiency is something you can easily do yourself. If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, ENERGY STAR recommends a professional home-energy audit.
Average Energy Bill Breakdown:
- Heating: 29%
- Electronics: 21%
- Water Heating: 13%
- Cooling: 13%
- Appliances: 12%
- Light: 12%
Follow the tips below and you will see where your home loses energy, how efficient your heating and cooling systems are and ways you can decrease your electricity use.
Where is the air coming from?
Air commonly leaks from homes through gaps around baseboards, electrical outlets and windows or doors. If you feel like running the heat all the time to no avail, that warm air might escape. When you stop these drafts, you can save up to 30% of your yearly energy costs (it will also keep the cool air inside during the summer months). Be sure to check your home’s exterior as well, pay attention to areas where two different building materials meet. When you find leaks, seal them with caulk or weather stripping.
Do not wait to insulate.
You should check to see if you have enough insulation in your ceiling and walls. The attic door or hatch should be insulated and close tightly. For your walls, make a small hole in a closet or other inconspicuous place and probe into the wall with a screwdriver. If the area is not filled with insulation, you are probably losing heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.
Check your furnace and AC systems.
Heating and cooling systems that work correctly and efficiently can save you frustration as well as money. Make sure your ducts and pipes are insulated properly and have your equipment checked and cleaned by a professional each year. Filters for forced-air furnaces should be replaced as soon as they are dirty, or every 30 to 60 days.
Let there be (efficient) light.
More than half of the light sockets in the U.S. still contain an inefficient bulb, according to ENGERY STAR. The average home has about 70 sockets. LED bulbs use 90% energy versus regular bulbs and they last longer too. Many LED bulbs will still be going after 20 years.
Check to see how your home stacks up.
ENERGY STAR offers a Home Energy Yardstick that allows you to compare your home’s efficiency to similar homes across the country. It gives advice on how to improve. Takes about five minutes, learn more here.
Contact R.C. Keller & Company today!
Anyone can take steps to save energy, whether you are a hardcore do-it-yourselfer or someone simply tired of sending a big check to the power company every month. Don’t forget what might be the most important thing of all after you finish your audit and make your home more efficient: Deciding how to spend the money you will save.
Give your local independent insurance agents at R.C. Keller & Company a call today. We have been helping the residents of Schaumburg and the surrounding areas since 1910, with their home, auto and business insurance. Call 847-907-4520.