It’s common sense that most people wouldn’t choose to throw money away, but it might surprise you how much money you could be losing due to the inefficiency of your home. So how do you know if you’re throwing away money, due to the inefficiency of your home? Here are a few tips to help get your home and wallet functioning efficiently.
Energy Efficiency Audit
If you have an older home or a newly built energy efficient home, hiring a professional to examine your home can be an effective investment. These auditors have the knowledge and tools to find problem areas in your home that could be costing you money, and offer solutions to help make your home run more efficiently and affordably.
Windows & Doors
Having leaky windows or door frames causes the hot air in your home to escape and make for a cold drafty house. If you have old single pane windows, replacing to a more energy efficient window may help your home run more efficiently. If you’re not ready for a total home window replacement, installing storm windows could be another solution. Storm windows are installed over the existing house windows and are better wind and weather resistant offering protection and insulation to normalize the temperature of your home. Additionally, you can limit the amount of air escaping from your home by sealing leaks and cracks with caulk and weather stripping.
Properly Insulated Walls and Attic
If you have an older home, chances are, it’s poorly insulated. Keep comfortable all year round by adding insulation to your home. Having effective insulation in your home slows the flow of heat entering or leaving your house, each season, consequently impacting how much energy is required to heat or cool your home. If your attic is unfinished or your walls have empty cavities, consult a professional, with the information found in your energy efficiency audit, for solutions on where to add additional insulation.
Upgrade your HVAC Unit
If your heat pump or AC unit is over 10 years old or your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, and in need of frequent repair, it may be time to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. Energystar.gov reports that, “an Energy Star high-efficiency unit can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.” Saving on energy costs shouldn’t be the sole factor in upgrading your system. If your unit has leaks, needs duct repair or insulation, look to see the best options for saving you time, hassle and money. A technician can give you the best options to extend the life of your current unit or advise you on an energy efficient system.
The Federal Government offers tax incentives for repairs and upgrades made to your home. By going to www.energy.com, you can see the options for rebates that you can apply to your taxes. For instance, the state of Idaho will cover 100% of the cost of materials and labor for energy efficiency improvements made to your house. Depending on the year your house was built, adding additional insulation, upgrading and/or weather stripping and caulking your house windows can be covered. Furthermore, you can qualify for an incentive by upgrading your current heating and air conditioning system to an energy efficient unit. If you plan to make any repairs or upgrades to your home, discuss your options with a professional and research for tax incentives that you may qualify for so you can take advantage of the money saving opportunities.