Here are 5 things you can do to successfully reduce your
home energy consumption and save money in the process
courtesy of Washington Energy Services in Seattle,
1. Seal the leaks around windows and exterior doors. This is
easy to do, and will help your home keep the heat in. Caulk,
spray foam or use weather stripping and it will have an
impact on improving your comfort and reducing utility bills.
Don’t want to fuss with this, and then contact a handyman,
or a reputable window, insulation or painting company. Many
of them provide this service.
2. Fix your insulation
situation. Insulation is typically the #1 way to save energy
in your home. According to the Department of Energy (www.ornl.gov)
heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used
in the average American home. Inadequate insulation and air
leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes.
And according to Energy Star, you could
save up to 10% of your total annual energy bill just by
sealing and insulating.
3. Clean and seal heating ducts. Almost 20% of the air that
moves through your duct system is lost due to leaks and
poorly sealed connections. Over time, ducts can sag or
collapse. Vermin and other animals can chew holes in crawl
space ductwork. Ducts can also come apart at the seams. When
this happens, any air that should be going to the rooms in
your home is instead being wasted by ending up in your
attic, your walls, or under your house. If duct tape was
used on your ductwork originally, it's best to have it
replaced with aluminum or foil tape. Traditional duct tape
deteriorates quickly. Metal seams should be cleaned and then
sealed with duct mastic, which doesn't crack. It creates a
4. Let your equipment breathe. Your heating and cooling
systems depend on a flow of air to maximize their
efficiency. Homeowners can take easy steps to help change
the furnace filter, and check for leaves/debris around an
outside heat pump or air conditioner. A clogged air intake
outside or dirty indoor furnace filter limits air flow to
the equipment and causes it to function inefficiently. It
can eventually lead to costly breakdowns and repairs. This
is similar to changing the air filter in your car.
Electronic filters typically need cleaning at least twice
per year and paper filters need replacing. Check your
product warranty for your manufacturer’s specific
5. Open those registers. Many people close floor registers
to push heat into certain parts of their house. Since about
the late 60's the products installed in homes have been
forced air furnaces. These are designed for a specific
amount of air to flow thru the furnace while operating. The
ductwork is designed for this amount of air also. When air
registers are closed it reduces the airflow and allows heat
to buildup in the system. That heat has to go somewhere, and
that somewhere is up the flue and out of your house. Closing
1 or 2 registers is fine in rooms that get too hot. Keep as
many registers open as possible so your furnace can operate
at maximum efficiency. This is the same for heat pumps and
central air conditioning. Airflow is key to efficient
heating and saving money.
Not sure where to start to make your home energy efficient?
Consider a home energy audit. A certified audit uses the
latest technology to analyze your house, measuring heat
loss, combustion and air leakage. An audit will show you how
your home uses and wastes energy. This will help you
prioritize what you can do to get the most energy savings.
Learn more about audits at