With the Groundhog seeing his shadow and foretelling of 6 more weeks of Winter, it’s the perfect time to assess your home’s energy efficiency.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, almost 50% of any given month’s utility bill goes towards heating and cooling alone. The good news is that most utility companies will come perform a complimentary energy audit (or one for a very small fee) that goes along with being an account holder. They will assess all the potential weak points in a home like ductwork, window and door frames, age of units, and seals.
Other ideas for improving your energy output could be replacing outdated appliances. The refrigerator alone claims 9% of utility costs. Upgrading to Energy Star rated refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, dryers, and washing machines may seem like a steep cost up front but will pay off in the long run.
Don’t want to go through the hassle of upgrading, or perhaps you already have and are looking for extra steps to take? Here are some simple fixes you can make in a few minutes:
*Close off vents in unoccupied rooms
*Switch off your computer monitor or unplug things like cell-phone chargers when not in use
*Turn off lights when leaving the room or install motion detectors for exterior lighting
Whether you’re planting trees along the perimeter of your home or researching upgrading to solar panels, any effort towards having an energy efficient home is an important one!