While your energy usage should go down once the weather starts to cool off, your energy bills might still be much higher than necessary. With a few simple home upgrades and some basic maintenance, you should be able to improve the efficiency of your home while reducing your carbon footprint.
Many homeowners never even think about their insulation until their electric bills skyrocket. Most insulation should last for at least 15 years, but yours might become damaged before that time. If your insulation is matted or torn, then it needs to be replaced with new batts or blow-in cellulose. Before you invest in new insulation, you must determine the correct R-value for your climate. Using the proper insulation will greatly increase your family’s comfort while minimizing your electric bills.
A Faulty HVAC System
Older HVAC systems tend to be very inefficient, and there may come a point when you need to consider professional HVAC services. An experienced contractor will be able to improve the efficiency of the system and check it for any signs of damage. As a general rule, you should try to schedule a service call with an HVAC contractor at least twice a year. Regular maintenance will increase the lifespan of your HVAC system and help you avoid a catastrophic breakdown.
Old or Damaged Wiring
In addition to being extremely dangerous, damaged wiring can also be a major energy drain. When a wire is damaged, much of the electricity will be turned into heat, and that is highly inefficient. A few of the most common signs of a damaged electrical system include flickering lights, frayed wires, discolored outlets, and a buzzing sound in the walls. Those types of issues should only be taken care of by an experienced electrician who is fully licensed and insured.
When the weather cools down, you want to be sure that your home can trap in warm air. If you have an older house, then you should think about upgrading the windows. Modern windows often have multiple layers of glass and plastic, and that makes them highly efficient. You will also need to make sure that you use heavy curtains that block out cold drafts.
Another step that you can take to improve the efficiency of your home is to reverse all of your ceiling fans during the fall and winter months. When a fan is turning clockwise, it will draw the cool air in the room up and disperse the warm air that is collecting near the ceiling.