Tired of watching your energy bills get bigger as each month passes? Here are a few problems at home that could be compromising your energy efficiency, and what you can do to make improvements:
Your HVAC System is Old
As a homeowner who takes energy efficiency seriously, one of the most important things to keep an eye on is the HVAC system. If you have to turn the thermostat up or down more often than you used to, if the air conditioner has to stay on longer during the day to keep things cool, or if your system is making sounds it didn't used to, it's time to call an HVAC service technician to have everything inspected and repaired a necessary.
If your HVAC system is more than 10 or 15 years old, you should seriously consider having it replaced altogether to ensure proper performance and optimized energy efficiency all year long. Once your system has been repaired or replaced, you can keep it in good shape and extend its life by scheduling yearly inspections, cleaning or replacing the filters every couple months, and checking the air ducts a few times a year to make sure they aren't caked with dirt and debris.
The Windows and Frames Leak
Leaking windows and frames is another surefire sign that your household energy efficiency is being compromised. Slowly move a lit candle around the edge of your windows where they meet the frames, and if you see the flame flicker in any area, there's a chance that you're dealing with a leak of some size. You can use a burning incense stick instead of a candle, or simply run a damp hand over the window seals to see if you feel any cool air filtering in against them. If leaks are present, you can seal your windows between the glass and the frame with caulking or spray foam insulation to greatly increase energy efficiency throughout your entire home.
After you have sealed your windows, you can further increase energy efficiency by installing insulation film on them and then fitting awnings over them. The insulation film comes in a variety of shades and designs so you can create a custom look, they will help regulate the amount of heat your home loses and gains year-round, and they'll protect your interior walls, floors, and furnishings from harmful UV rays that could result in fading or damage.
By having awnings installed over your windows, you can expect to save some money on your monthly energy bills as they'll work to reduce the amount of heat your window absorbs during the summer while minimizing the infiltration of cold winds in the winter. And if your awnings are big enough, you can use them to create comfortable outdoor gardens, barbecue areas, or general living spaces to enjoy with friends and family.
Your Outdoor Light Bulbs aren't LED
If your property isn't sporting LED lighting outside, you're spending a lot more money on energy than you need to. You'll use at least 75 percent less energy with outdoor LED lighting in place as opposed to incandescent lights – and your LED bulbs should last about 25 times longer too. Consider installing strings of LED lights on your trees, awnings, and fencing to illuminate the entire yard for easy and convenient evening enjoyment. Install LED light posts along the driveway and pathways in the yard. Don't forget to replace the old bulbs in the fixtures attached to the exterior of your home with newer LED options. It's even possible to create a light show in the garden by utilizing various colors of LED bulbs during installation.