Get Smart – Improve the Energy Efficiency of your Home.

All of us long for a comfortable home, a home to relax in peace after a day’s hard work. We naturally buy all the electrical appliances to make work easier and less time consuming. What we may not think about however, is the energy consumed by all these appliances resulting in high energy bills. So how do we manage to have a comfortable home and still save money?

The solution is to be responsible and make your homes energy efficient by following some smart simple steps.

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Energy Audit: Get a home energy audit done from a professional Home energy auditor to assess carefully how much energy is used and how much is wasted. By analyzing your energy bills and thoroughly inspecting your home, he will guide you in all the things you need to do, to make your home energy efficient. You can save about 5 to 30 % of your energy bill by taking the necessary measures suggested by him.

Unplug devices: The most common cause of energy wastage is keeping appliances in a standby mode or not unplugging them when not in use. This negligence costs a U.S household approximately $ 100 a year. So make sure you unplug the devices.

 Programmable thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature as and when needed will save almost 10 percent a year on the cost of heating and cooling.

Home’s appliances and electronics: Almost 20 % of the home utility bill is due to home’s appliances and electronics. Using energy efficient appliances like those rated ENERGY STAR® can substantially reduce your energy bills. They consume 10 to 15 % less energy than standard models. For example an Energy Star rated clothes washer uses 40 % less energy. It also uses less water and less detergent and helps save money. Replace old used appliances with the latest energy efficient models.

Water heating: The 2nd largest expense in any home- almost 14 to 18% of the utility bills is due to water heating. Each year, an average household spends around 400 to 600 $ in water heating. You can reduce this by using less hot water, turning down the thermostat, buying energy efficient water heaters or installing solar heaters. Insulate the water heater tank and connecting pipes to prevent heat loss. Use cold water whenever possible, especially for washing clothes and dishwashing.

Energy saving lighting: Lighting consumes 10 % of the energy in a home. Using compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs can give 75 % energy savings and also a saving in money as they last for a longer time. Switching off the lights when you don’t need them is a good habit to be cultivated. Use natural lighting through the day.

Air leakage: It is important that you close the doors and windows properly when the heat or air conditioner is on. However air sealing all the leakages in your home will ensure extra energy saving. A home energy audit will help you assess all the leakages in places like chimney bypasses, HVAC ducts, windows, doors, recessed lighting etc. Sealing up all these and proper insulation will make your home safe, comfortable and help save energy. Use energy efficient windows, which ensure proper sealing and insulation. You might want to consider Champion windows come with high performance, energy efficient glass, which helps to keep the heat out in summer and heat in during winter, reducing your heating and cooling costs.

While all this upgrading may cost money initially, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. You will also find your home more comfortable and of course you can truly relax without having to worry about the energy bills.

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