Timberline Blog

Easy Ways to Save Money and Energy in Your Home

August 31, 2016 by Timberline

Energy Efficiency in Your Home

Do you have an energy efficient home? Modern homes are generally designed and built to be more efficient than their predecessors, but there are still many home improvements that will make a big difference to your energy consumption and your utility bill. That’s good news for your bank account, and for the environment! Continue reading below for some energy-saving information and ideas.

Energy efficiency in your home


Energy Efficient HVAC Systems

While home efficiency design has improved drastically since the 1960s, the manufacture of heating and cooling systems may not have kept up with the times. Many typical American home heating and cooling systems are rated at about 40,000 BTUh (British Thermal Units per hour), while they may only actually need a system rated at 10,000-20,000 BTUh.

According to John Straub, professor of building envelope science at the University of Waterloo and principal at the Building Science Corporation in Massachusetts, “Peak demand for super insulated houses of 2,000 square feet is often 20,000 BTUh or less, and townhouses can be under 12,000 BTUh.” Contact your local heating and cooling experts to discuss what type of energy efficient air conditioner or heating system would be best for your home.

Saving Energy Around the House

There are a number of other ways to make your home greener and more energy efficient. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Energy efficiency audit: An energy efficiency audit is a good way to learn more about how your home operates, and to discover some easy fixes to help improve your energy efficiency. The best way to run an audit is to hire a professional, but you can perform parts of a complete audit at home by yourself as well.
  • HVAC system maintenance: Scheduling regular cleaning and maintenance of your current equipment will optimize your system’s efficiency. This includes changing the air filters on a regular basis, making sure your heating and cooling ducts are adequately sealed, getting updated equipment properly installed by professionals, and scheduling regular maintenance and tune ups. Contact a professional if you think your heating or cooling system may not be running properly.
  • Programmable thermostats: One of the simplest ways to save energy in your home is to install a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to optimize the temperature in your home on a preset schedule. Lowering your thermostat setpoint when you are not at home or are sleeping is a great way to reduce the heat loss of your home. Using a programmable thermostat can save you an average of $180 per year, not to mention reducing your energy consumption.
  • Energy efficient windows and insulation: Double-paned energy efficient windows and proper insulation can help keep your home buttoned-up more tightly, which will decrease the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool your home.
  • Appliances: There are many energy saving appliances readily available to consumers. When the time comes, consider replacing an old appliance with a more energy efficient counterpart. In the long run, you’re likely to save significant money and energy just from the reduced cost of operating the new equipment.
  • Energy calculators: Many major energy providers have online calculators available that will calculate how much energy is being consumed by appliances. Energy.gov has an easy-to-use appliance energy calculator so you can see how much energy your appliances are using compared to the national average.
  • Natural gas vs. electricity: Research your natural gas and electricity options. Most service providers (including Xcel Energy, Atmos Energy and Con Edison) have an energy calculator available, so you can see how much energy and money you could save by using one or the other, or split between the two.

Energy efficiency in your home can impact your day-to-day costs, as well as the environment. If you have any questions about how to improve energy efficiency of an HVAC system in your home, please feel free to contact us 24/7.

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