Home energy usage is something that will save you money in your check
book and home budget if handled correctly. There are many things you
can do to increase your home's energy efficiency, (like closing the
door so heat will not escape) but this article will focus on a few
specific things that will have the most impact..
With the rising cost of nearly every utility bill we need to look at
our usage of the energy we use to determine where we can save money.
Three obvious areas which we will focus on are
heating of our home
heating of our water
insulating our windows and doors
In heating your home, the thermostat is crucial to the number of times
the furnace turns on and off. By updating your thermostat to a
programmable thermostat, you get a much more efficient use of energy.
The circular type has a 6% variance in temperature as compared to the
programmable one which has a 1% variance. There is a little savings
The programmable thermostat is so sophisticated that you can program
it to turn the furnace on when the temperature gets to a certain
point, and turn off at another desired temperature. Not only this, but
you can turn the furnace down while you are not at home, and program
it to turn on 30 minutes before you arrive home so it will be warm
when you get there. Likewise, you can turn the temperature down at say
10:30pm and then up again ? hour before you get up in the morning
thus, you are not heating the home unnecessarily, By programing your
schedule into the unit, you can have a considerable savings on heating
As for the installation of a programmable thermostat, you can do it
yourself and for around $5 for the unit you can start getting savings
immediately. They are easier to install than to learn to program them.
Your furnace itself, can be more or less efficient, depending on the
age of your furnace. If your furnace is over 15 years old, it likely
is not an energy efficient one. You can get 80% to 90% energy
efficient furnaces which coupled with the programmable thermostat, you
will get the greatest savings.
Heating our water is another extreme amount of energy loss item in our
homes. Consequently, we need to address what modern technology has to
offer. First of all, the traditional water heater is a great source of
heat loss unless it is insulated. There are water heater "blankets"
that are insulation that is wrapped around the water heater to hold
the heat inside. You may shower and put the dishwasher through in the
morning and then not need the hot water until evening for another load
of dishes. The water heater is keeping the water hot all day, while
heat is escaping unless the tank is insulated.
Technology has created the tankless water heater which is basically
hot water "on demand," with no tank. Up until recently, these tankless
heaters have been needed at each sink , shower, tub, and laundry
facilities. Now they have developed a tankless unit that goes in the
plumbing in the same position as the traditional water heater.
Although these tankless heaters may cost a little more, the savings
over the long haul make it worth the investment, year after year. At
the very least, you'll want to insulate your water heater with an
Another great loss of energy in your home is around windows and doors.
Again, energy efficient windows and doors will help greatly in
preventing loss, or lack of it, through windows and doors.
If you can see daylight under your outside doors or around your
windows, there can be a lot of heat escaping through those holes. An
insulation strip along the bottom of the doors will stop the
infiltration of cold air for your outside doors.
Windows that have leaks can be sealed up by using a removable caulking
for the winter months, as long as you don't have to open the window.
The caulking can be peeled off easily when warmer weather comes.
If you don't believe you have any leakage around your windows and
doors, just do an inspection of all your window sills and door sills
after a great dust storm. If you find an accumulation of dust in
specific places on your sills, you'll know you have a "leak", you just
don't know where the leak is.
You can also check for leaks with a lighted candle during a wind
storm. Move the candle around the edge of the window and if the flame
is blown by the wind, you'll know exactly where the leaks are. NOTE:
This method is extremely dangerous if you have draperies, so use
extreme caution when using a candle.
By applying the above mentioned energy savings tips you can generally
make a significant savings (up to 30%) in your home budget. I'm sure
you'll agree, when it comes to money - "every little bit helps."