You’re sitting on the couch watching television and all of a sudden you feel a draft that glides across your feet. You know your furnace is on because you hear it running but you know there is draft in your room. You walk over to the window and feel your hair move as you get closer. You have a drafty, inefficient window. But does it end there? No, you discover a draft from your front door, back door and even the electrical outlet next to your bed. You realize that you are losing a lot of heat through poorly insulated areas of your home.
With rising energy prices, the time is here to think seriously about your home’s efficiency. The approach of spring makes it the perfect time to think about optimizing your home’s efficiency to lower your energy bills during the hot summer and frigid winter months to come. Building or remodeling an energy-efficient home takes some forethought and some initial up-front costs, but the planning and the investment will pay off with healthier living conditions and monetary savings in the future.
Here Are 4 Tips from AHA on How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient
1. Begin a preliminary search on-line
Websites such as the National Association of Home Builders site (www.NAHB.org) can provide extensive information on recent developments in energy efficient building and can also provide contact information for their local chapters. These are often able to give specific information about maximizing energy efficiency for situations unique to your area.
2. Look at your lights
If you’re creating a new construction, position your home to take advantage of the most daylight. Installing windows and skylights can decrease your electric bills because you can take advantage of natural sunlight for longer hours during the day.
3. Minimize air leaks
Installing good quality windows and doors is an important factor in saving energy. Look for foam-insulated doors that are pre-hung at the factory in order to provide a tight seal once they are installed. You can prevent heat-loss and protect your home from moisture with double-, or even triple-hung windows. These are expensive purchases, but the cost-benefit is well worth it during cold winter months, or hot summer days.
In addition, protecting your home from moisture is a smart move because of the damage moisture can do to wallboard and carpeting. Carpeting moisture promotes the growth of mold. While mold can cause physical damage to your home, it can also damage your delicate lungs and sinuses through daily exposure.
4. Insulate parts of your home that could leak air outside of the house
Electrical outlets, light switches and exhaust fans can have small gaps which allow inside air to leak out. Combat this by filling the spaces around these areas with spray foam insulation, which expands to fill those spaces. This should be done in addition to installing high quality insulation in crawl spaces, between walls and around venting ducts. You should also use mastic sealing inside vent ducts when the ducts are installed. This is a sealant inside of the duct can prevent air from escaping when traditional taping in the ductwork begins to rot.
Building an energy efficient home is now more possible than ever. The market is meeting the rising demand for energy efficient products which means a greater variety for you. A well insulated home will keep dampness and outside air at bay. So, to keep your family healthy and your utility bills down, try taking some measures to make your home more energy efficient. The big pay-off will be well worth a little bit of effort.