Preparing for the Big Chill

eHow Home Blog

As the weather turns cooler, our attention naturally turns to ways to keep our homes warm without breaking the bank. The best way to do so is to take a ‘wholistic’ approach when making energy efficient improvements.

Instead of thinking about these improvements as one-offs (i.e. making individual energy efficient improvements one at a time), think about making them at the same time so those upgrades can work together and provide the most benefit.  This ‘wholistic’ approach will allow you to increase your home’s performance and comfort while maximizing your energy savings.

Here are seven low-hanging energy efficiency opportunities and solutions to reap the benefits of saving energy AND money:

  1. Little or no insulation: Install adequate insulation in the attic, floors and walls to reduce heating and cooling costs
  2. Air leakage:  Seal window and door leaks
  3. Single-pane windows: Replace these with Energy Star qualified double-pane low emissivity/low-E windows (emissivity measures how much a glass surface transfers radiant heat)
  4. Inefficient hot water systems: Replace these with high efficiency storage water heaters that use better insulation and more efficient burners OR tankless water heaters that provide hot water on demand
  5. Outdated lighting: Install Energy Star light fixtures that use 1/2 to 2/3 less energy than standard fixtures
  6. Inefficient appliances:  Install Energy Star refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers (don’t forget toilets and showerheads)
  7. Inefficient heating and cooling equipment: Install high efficiency heating, ventilating and air condition (HVAC) equipment

And… Don’t forget to take advantage of any rebate or incentive programs offered for taking a ‘wholistic’ approach to energy efficiency because these rebates and incentives can assist you with paying for your improvements.  Saving money on the front end coupled with the energy savings you’ll experience will be well worth it.

Photo credit: iStock Photography

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