When the temperature outside drops, homeowners across the Raleigh area are turning up their thermostat to combat the chill. Most of us don’t think about kicking the heat up a few degrees until the shock of that first winter heating bill comes in. No one wants to choose between a warm, comfortable home and affordable utility bills, so to help you find that balance, we’re sharing our best tips to make your home more energy efficient this winter.
Get an Energy Audit
A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, is a great starting point for determining where you can make improvements to reduce your energy bills. A technician will come to your home and follow a comprehensive checklist including:
- Checking your home energy usage
- Looking for air leaks and drafts
- Checking insulation
- Examining appliances and your furnace or HVAC system
Often, your utility company will conduct this audit for free and provide you with a list of recommendations, such as caulking windows, adding insulation, and updating light bulbs. Once you know exactly where you’re losing efficiency, you can take the steps to fix it.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
An updated thermostat is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to lower your energy costs. When you’re at work or out for the day, keeping your heat at 70 degrees (or your preferred temperature) wastes energy and money. A programmable thermostat lets you easily set your thermostat for the optimal temperatures throughout the day to reduce costs when you’re gone without sacrificing comfort when you’re home. Program a lower temperature at night and while you’re at work, and set it to your optimal temperature 30 minutes before you get home or wake up in the morning.
Optimize Your Furnace
If you can reduce how hard your furnace has to work, you can improve your energy efficiency and prevent expensive repairs.
- Change your filters to improve air flow and increase efficiency.
- Get your furnace professionally serviced to make sure it’s clean and working properly.
- Close off heating vents to rooms you don’t use, like guest rooms or storage spaces.
- Clear a three to five foot space around your furnace to allow air to circulate.
- Make sure your registers are clear (free of dust, not blocked by furniture or rugs).
Use Your Ceiling Fan
Living in Raleigh, we rely on our ceiling fans to keep our rooms cool in the summer and keep air moving. However, as warm air rises, ceiling fans can be used to push it back down. This is especially important in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings. Simply set your ceiling fan to turn clockwise when you’re staring up at it, and run it on the lowest setting to move the warm air to ground level.
Keep Cold Air Out
Reducing drafts in the home can cut down on hundreds of dollars a year toward your energy bills. Adding weather stripping to seal around doors and windows, hanging thermal curtains, and adding fresh caulk to the exterior of your windows are inexpensive fixes that work wonders. For single pane or older windows, consider covering your windows with window film.
Keep Warm Air In With Proper Insulation
Adding insulation to your Raleigh home is one of the best investments you can make to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your heating and cooling bills all year long. Without appropriate insulation throughout your home you are losing up to 40 percent of your heat through the roof as warm air rises into your attic. An additional 35 percent of heat escapes through your walls and around windows, and 10 percent of your heat seeps out through your floor (more if there is a crawl space under your house that is not insulated).
Contact Crawl Space & Basement Technologies to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency!
We specialize in Raleigh insulation services! With crawl space encapsulation and attic insulation services, we keep heat from escaping while blocking cold air from entering. The result is a warm, comfortable home without the high energy bills! Call us at 919-847-7072 or fill out our online contact form to learn more!